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I too am a fighter of windmills.

Photo by Nellu

I never read Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes until I started doing research for this piece. This excerpt, courtesy of the site about.com’s classic lit site, is worth sharing:

At this point they came in sight of thirty [or] forty windmills that [rose] there are on [the] plain, and as soon as Don Quixote saw them he said to his squire, “Fortune is arranging matters for us better than we could have shaped our desires ourselves, for look there, friend Sancho Panza, where thirty or more monstrous giants present themselves, all of whom I mean to engage in battle and slay, and with whose spoils we shall begin to make our fortunes; for this is righteous warfare, and it is God’s good service to sweep so evil a breed from off the face of the earth.”

“What giants?” said Sancho Panza.

“Those thou seest there,” answered his master, “with the long arms, and some have them nearly two leagues long.”

“Look, your worship,” said Sancho; “what we see there are not giants but windmills, and what seem to be their arms are the sails that turned by the wind make the millstone go.”

“It is easy to see,” replied Don Quixote, “that thou art not used to this business of adventures; those are giants; and if thou art afraid, away with thee out of this and betake thyself to prayer while I engage them in fierce and unequal combat.”

I just love how convinced Don Quixote is, that not only are the windmills giants, but that those giants (drama/conflict/obstacle/insert your own demon here) are what he expects and par for the course when it comes to adventure.

That’s me. I have a hard time enjoying the adventure unless I’m making progress on a plan towards a goal, unless I’m fighting the good fight. And if everything is okay, well then something is really wrong.

Nellu usually just laughs when I get going on my giant monologues, which helps.

On our Spanish road trip, we stopped in the sleepy town of Consuegra to visit Don Quixote’s giants.

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(I considered setting this footage to “The Impossible Dream” from “Man of La Mancha”— ahahahhahah. Then I remembered who I was and dialed back the cheese…mostly.)

Life lesson #316: If you’ve got your eye out for giants, you might miss the windmills.

~ Molly

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