The murmur of the river

María del Carmen knows the value of silence: it is in the absence of sound where we connect with our innermost core. Her reflection in this article earned her the first award in the XIX edition of Literary Excellence. 

I had been wanting to put aside my cell phone, the inconsequential conversations and the superficiality of many of the people I usually meet. I had thought about forgetting the phone at my house in Almería when we came to Lanjarón, but I needed it with me if I wanted to go for a walk alone or take a picture or two. So I was left with the option of looking for an alternative... And I found it!

In this nook of the Parque del Salao it does not seem like winter, as the grove tempers the cold, acts as a barrier against the wind, and keeps visitors away from the constant noise of the city.

Disconnecting from the routine here is easy. As I slide my eyes across the pages of a book, the gentle breeze caresses my features and makes me look up. Countless leaves fall from the trees and delicately descend to the ground. The murmur of the river current accompanies the shy chirping of the birds. What I have been looking for for some time, I have finally found. 

I am overwhelmed by urban stress, the continuous problems, the domino effect of my actions, the wrongly chosen words, the people who sample various faces depending on their interests... In other words, the characteristic frivolity of this society, in which we seem to insist on living surrounded by conflicts and looking for problems where there are none. We have become so attached to new technologies that we have turned immediacy into a virtue and waiting into torture. We have given the world a hundred and eighty Degrees turns, and although we pretend to pretend that we live happily, it is impossible to completely cover up the emptiness we feel. We have put the accent on impossible standards of beauty and we have taken it away from the importance of living together as a family. Every day we fill more and more gyms, with our minds set exclusively on our appearance and our health, and we tiptoe past the financial aid centers for the needy and the homes for the elderly. We are dehumanizing ourselves because we try to humanize idealizations, without realizing that what is real is not what we see through an Instagram profile , but the person in front of us. We are letting ourselves be carried away by a supposed perfection that, unhappy, we show on social networks minute by minute because we need someone to love us to start loving us. We have built a generation that is not able to stand on itself, in which either they admire me or I am nobody, in which if they do not value me, why should I value myself, in which we do not know what the meaning of life is and instead of struggling to find it, we immerse ourselves in an infinite sadness in which if I have not achieved every morning a few followers in my profiles, why am I going to get up, without understanding that those followers are still people who are wasting their time by focusing their attention on external points instead of on themselves. If I don't have a perfect body, I'm not going to love myself. And problems arise in friendships because I'm not able to interpret the tones of voice that scream text messages. 

This debacle is not only the fault of technological advances; it is my fault, our fault. Because despite being aware of our ignorance and the levels of irresponsibility we can reach, we give the phone to children, we downplay the ideal of building a stable love in order to maintain fleeting relationships that impoverish the heart. 

I have to stop focusing on what I supposedly see and start focusing on what I want to see with certainty. That I want to and I can't, or, rather, I want to but I'm too lazy to do it because it's much more comfortable to keep lamenting about how unfair life is... that's what disappoints me about this time. We live in a nightmare that we all disguise to look like a sweet dream. That's why in Lanjarón I can connect with myself and what really matters to me. To do this, it is essential that I listen to the whisper of the wind, the murmurs of the river and the shy song of the birds.

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