Friday, January 05, 2007

My Last Day in Spain

Time flies whether or not you are having fun.
In my case, I am having a blast.

I haven´t walked this much in months.
Or eaten this much. Or laughed this much.
I have loved every minute of this trip.
Even when I almost missed my flight from Madrid to La Coruña. It was not my fault, but I´ll tell that story another day.

During this entire trip, I have been careful to stop myself often, whether I am walking down the wide boulevards of Madrid or the narrow pedestrian ways here in La Coruña, strolling through a museum, or holding that precious baby, Alvaro, and I have told myself: "Live it, G. Breathe it." Or I make it into a question: "Are you living this, Gail? Are you?" At one point, I wrote in my journal: "I know I won´t remember every thought or sensation, but I will live each one fully."

Last night as I sat in the Jesuit church of Santa Maria del Mar here in La Coruña, Spain, listening to five cellists and a pianist play Christmas music, I wrote all kinds of odd comments on the concert program. I reflected on the color and size of the cellos - each one was so much like the other in some ways, but then again quite different one from another. Kind of like us, people. I wrote about how each instrument, although they were essentially the same, each played a different line of the melody or harmony. Beautiful music, beautiful combinations of sounds. Kind of like us, people.

And then after one particularly moving piece, I wrote: "I won´t remember every detail. No one does. But at least I write down what I remember. I keep a record." I will have something to return to 24 hours from now when I am at the airport in Madrid awaiting my connection to Miami. Forty-eight hours from now, when my family will be asleep, but I will undoubtedly be awake because of the time difference. And weeks from now, when I am forgetting to stop myself and live each moment, I will pull out my journal and remember the places I stopped to have coffee. And breathe. I will put on one of the crosses I have added to my collection on this journey and remember the store where I purchased it, the detailed wrapping technique undertaken by the cashier, and warm salutation she gave as I left her delicate and elegant shop.

It´s my last full day here in Spain. I know I will cry when I leave tomorrow morning because I love this country so. I love Madrid. I love this coastal city in the northwest corner of the country I love. I love being with my friend, Antonio. I´ve known him for nearly 18 years, and every time I see him and spend time with him, I love him more. He´s one of the best people I have ever known. I am blessed to know him and count him as a friend.

So many stories to tell. To write. To share.
So many lessons learned. Sights seen.
Conversations begun and ended.
So much food, wine, and laughter shared.

Life is good.
God is good.

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