I’ve been learning Spanish for a while now. I’ve been teaching myself steadily since August of 2015, but off and on for a few years before that. I’ve made a lot of progress and also very little, according to your standard of measurement.
We managed to piece together enough to share.
Recently, I got the chance to carry on a very broken conversation with my friend’s mother. She is from Brazil, so she speaks Portuguese, not Spanish, but we managed to piece together enough to share a bit about our children and our husbands. I felt so proud to be able to do that, and I also felt horrified at how little I know. Learning something new is fun … and difficult and frustrating and exhilarating.
I love it.
Today I was reminded of how one instance of juxtaposition can teach you something brand new. It’s sort of like an epiphany – that moment the light bulb clicks on, a fuse ignites, your brain buzzes, smiles, sparks to attention.
I learned the word for “to wait”
back on Level 1 of Rosetta Stone.
I learned that word without much thought given to its root or deeper meaning.
Today, copying a Neruda translation and defining vocabulary words plucked from the poem, I spotted another Spanish word I know well and use often.
Esperanza. It means hope.
I paused, placing the words side by side: esperar and esperanza.
They have the same root, the same deeper meaning. To hope is to wait, and to wait is to hope.
I’ve been chasing my dreams for years now.
Often, the journey feels long, and I grow tired of waiting. I grow tired of it, but I don’t quit.
I don’t quit, because I still have hope. So long as I keep hoping, I will find the strength to also keep waiting, keep trying, keep dreaming, keep daring.
So, yeah, I am the nerdy girl who reads the dictionary for fun. I copy down Spanish vocabulary in my five-subject notebook and sometimes, on a slow day when I least expect it, a pair of words – a simple definition – can renew my hope. It’s like Jesus peeking out from the E section of my Spanish/English dictionary.It’s like Jesus peeking out from the E section of my Spanish/English dictionary.Click To Tweet
Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord. Psalm 31:24
Cobren ánimo y ármense de valor, todos los que en el Señor esperan. Salmos 31:24
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