This month our theme is liberation which is defined as the act or process of freeing someone or something from another’s control; the removal of traditional social rules, attitudes, etc.; a movement seeking equal rights and status for a group. Synonyms include setting free, salvation, emancipation, unchaining, release.
I just returned from visiting my daughter Meghann who is studying in Sevilla Spain for a semester. My mom and I travelled together and had such an adventure. I wouldn’t say Meghann is doing a lot of traditional studying, but she is learning! It was a complete joy to see how she is developing new attitudes, abiding by new social rules, and blossoming with self-sufficiency and resilience. Her Spanish has improved dramatically in just five weeks, and she navigates the foreign culture with ease. She admits that she feels liberated.
One day we walked through the narrow, charming streets, and she stopped at a manhole cover that was imprinted with the symbol “No8Do”. The figure eight symbolizes a loose ball of wool the Spanish call “majeda”, and the full emblem reads “no me ha dejado”. It means “I am not abandoned”.
Meghann told us the story of how King Alfonzo X was ousted from power by his son Sancho. The old king stayed in Sevilla where he was loved and cared for by the Sevillianos until his death. The phrase is attributed to him, thanking the city and its people for not abandoning him. The symbol is Sevilla’s motto and is found on all city signs and vehicles. We talked about how King Alfonzo’s community liberated him from the control of his power-hungry son and from fear. It sparked a conversation about the ways each of us feel held and supported by community, and as a result liberated from isolation, fear, and stagnation. We agreed that “no me ha dejado” is a very good mantra (and a pretty cool symbol, too).
I am grateful for the UUCB community, and the ways you liberate me. As always, I look forward to this month with you.