It doesn't happen often, but when it does, I am shaken to the bottom of my soul.
I got this book from my mom as a present, I cannot remember if it was last Christmas or for my birthday last year. In any case, when I got the book is not important. What it is important is that some of its pages touched me so much that I just had tears in my eyes.
I have always dreamed since years to go traveling and wondering around in Patagonia. Without a schedule. Without a goal. Just to live the place and feel it. I still don't know why Patagonia. It is just that any time I read something about it, I feel like it is my place. Maybe I am becoming too much of an hermit. I don't know. I don't necessarily think so. But I dream of the solitude of walking around in a place like Patagonia. Of being in a place where nothing can be given for granted. I have to admit that I would be too scared to go there and spend months there alone....but I always hope to find the right company to share this dream with.
In any case, I enjoy travel books. Books about places in the world. This is why I probably like so much B. Bryson's book (together with the fact that he is an amazing writer!). But this book, this specific book I am reading is not only about Patagonia and traveling below the 42nd parallel south of the world. It is about encounters with people who love this place. It is about a hard land, a difficult solitary place where people still live in a simple way, without the pressure that we have in this kind of world instead. I just read a chapter of this book about a solitary 95 years old woman living in this solitary place, in her isolated little house, drinking mate. But she is not alone, she has her dog, her sheep, her garden. I was reading about it, but I could imagine the whole place, the old lady, everything like if I was standing in front of the scenario. And the book tells about the appeal of this land to people with a lot of money who cannot appreciate the wind, the steppe, the nothing and want to use this immense space to build something on it, to change it, to destroy what it has been until now, as it happens for many other once uncontaminated places on earth. And reading this and thinking that Patagonia too will face the advancement and progresses of our civilization and most likely lose all what I ideally love about this place, the isolation, the lack of the globalization pressures, the scattered living things surviving there, the natural environments, made me extremely sad.
I love starbucks and I always enjoy getting an ice soy latte when I am in the USA. But I also love the fact that it is a treat for me, that I cannot have it all the time, because here, in most of the places in Europe, we still have little coffee places, which are one of a kind. I am not against globalization, but it shouldn't be so widespread. I like characteristic, traditional things and there are places in the world that shouldn't be bought just because someone has the money, that shouldn't be destroyed in name of making more money and making a world that looks all the same, no matter where we are. I am definitively for diversity.
Please, let Patagonia be and stay as in my dreams!