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60 to 60: Travel Stories/Tucked in Barcelona

It’s been a rather rough day, which is hard to write because we’re in Barcelona for goodness sakes. Aren’t you supposed to have only GREAT days when you’re on a once-in-a-lifetime trip? I guess not. Travel stress and my nervous nervous system have their way. I’m grounded for the entire first full day of the trip. While family is touring the famous unfinished, stunning Sagrada Familia and then on a tour of chocolatiers, I’m lying in a dark hotel room by myself. Bored and frustrated, I have a little poor-me cry, fall asleep and proceed to spill an entire bottle of ginger ale on the bed. I awaken, covered in snot, sweat and Schweppes.

Later when two friendly housekeeping staff arrive, we manage to communicate with gestures and a few words. I am way too beat to try to google translate my way through a conversation. After they change the sheets and add two fresh blankets, the women head into the bathroom. With no energy to pretend that I’m doing better than I am, I lie down on the bed and let my head sink heavily into the soft pillows. I close my eyes.

The younger woman comes back into the room, gesturing. May I tuck you in, may I help you feel better? she is asking. Oh, oh, how sweet I say. Si si, thank you, gracias. I'm thinking she too, is a mother. She ever so gingerly raises the blanket and tucks it under the sheet, and then under my chin. We catch each other’s eyes. There is kindness. With no shared spoken language, this woman has shown me a moment of love. Or grace. Whatever you wanna call it. It was GOODNESS. It’s simply amazing what one teeny gesture of humanity can do to lift one’s spirits.

I hope I can be a tucker for someone someday.


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