Oh Spain, our time has run out…it went too quickly and now I am left scrambling to find the words to say how you changed me. Your people are warm, open, and greet me with outstretched arms and always have two kisses for my cheeks.
Time is sacred here, but in a different way than I am used to. It is not a race to see who can get the most done, or be the busiest. People move slow here, friends linger over dinner turning them into a three or four hour affairs. Shops close for several hours in the afternoon to rest. I see families soaking up time with their children and family, cherishing every minute like one should.
While in Spain I found the love of olives. Back home I would try olives several times a year trying to make myself like them, I really wanted to but I couldn’t muster a feeling above tolerance. At the market in Vilanova there was an excellent olive monger and the first week I found the olive that changed my life, or at least my thoughts on olives. This olive variety was so delicious I had them with every meal.
I learned that all coffee is not created equal. Coffee with milk is a simple concoction indeed, and sounds simple enough to replicate in any country. But if you have been to Spain you will know that is just tastes magical when made by Spanish hands. I could not drink enough of it, now I have to learn to cope without my cafe con leche.
Spain you turned a no-touchy feely person into a Spanish flirt. Okay not a flirt but I did eagerly looked forward to hugging and kissing the dear friends we made. The greetings were never bigger than at the church, when the grandmothers would take my face in their hands and tell me how glad they were to see me and how pretty I was, and the place two or more kisses on my cheeks. Talk about an ego boost.
Living by the Mediterranean and breathing it in everyday, put a smile on my face and a salty spring in my step. When my problems seemed to big to handle, I would stroll down to the beach and gaze at the vast ocean, and as it crashed onto the cliffs It would quickly remind me just how small my problems and I really were.
We spent six weeks in Spain, which really isn’t that long, but it was enough to make life long friends and memories that I will not soon forget. Spain and Vilanova have a permanent place in my heart, it was our home for a while and one I would go back to in a heart beat.