Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Un viento fuerte de cambio

I left my life in Arkansas to follow the winds of change that blow in all of us.  I didn't want to be one of those people who realize in some mid-life crisis that they never did the things they said they would.

So here I am, lost and unfamiliar. Awkward with my blue eyes and funny accent. 

I've been living out of my suitcase for two weeks now. Homeless and anxious.  I spent a week in Sevilla falling in love with every Spanish person I came across.  For the first time, I feel part of a culture that pays attention to every small moment. We meander through the streets here, sipping cafecitos with friends. No starbucks coffee-9 o'clock meeting-sucking down a java for fuel and stability. No. Stability here comes from each step, each breath, each moment that is never overshadowed by work or stress. I can see why people come here and never look back.

I came to Spain a vegetarian. With that said, the giant pieces of ham that hang in all of the restaurants has definitely been shocking and eye opening.  But it's good to be shocked, and wowed. And mesmerized completely by the patience that this culture embraces. Like the quiet moment a father takes with his children right before the afternoon siesta. (This last picture made me think of my sister).

We went to the Alcazar where I felt myself sucked into those old college textbooks on Spanish civilizations.  The nostalgia was powerful...I remembered the feeling of lingering over the pictures and promising myself that I'd go there someday.  These structures all came to life for me...the 10th century mudejar artwork, the gothic Christian details added in later centuries. I stood right where a princess was married hundreds of years before. 

 Sevilla was absolutely incredible...little shops spilling colors out onto the cobblestone streets, bars that smelled of fried fish tapas and roquefort, cafes that swelled with people. A father sharing ice cream with his children, a couple holding each other, bodies pressed against a building older than the memories of ancestors, three men drinking cruzcampo and fighting over the bill. Each street gave me a different feeling, each corner a new scent, and each minute the reassurance (that I didn't need) convincing me that I've done the right thing by moving here.

Salud! To new friends and old friends, settling down in La Linea, my future students that I will meet this Friday and to finding an adorable little piso that I will soon call home. Un abrazo y besitos desde Espana.