and this time I don’t mean the water bottle.
To be fair, it may be a mix of water and sunlight. If this is the case, let me say: There is something in Sevilla.
[ Monday ]
With my afternoon tutoring session canceled, I find myself with a free hour. I’ve already had coffee, snagged a banana at a nearby fruteria and located the government office I need to visit to get my “youth card.” Oh yes, at the age of 27 I am still a “youth” in Europe. More on this and the benefits of said card later.
It’s 6:30 pm and the sun is still shining. Its not glaring, its not blazing – it’s beautiful. It’s the not-too-hot, almost-sunset, heavy egg yolk sliding down the horizon beyond the bridges. Its the kind of sun you turn your face toward just for the sake of feeling it on your skin. Your eyes shut automatically and for 10 eternal seconds you don’t think about sunscreen or errands or homework.
I turn my face to the sun to confirm two things. The first of these: spring is coming. The second of these doesn’t occur to me right away, it takes its time reaching my brain, just like the vitamin D I’m soaking up with my fair skin. There it is. Take a look around, rubia – you’re in Spain! This is what your yoga instructor is talking about when she tells you to be in the moment. This is also the signpost painted for me by Spain. Tranquila, hija. Ok .. I give.
I love people watching. There is nothing I like better than posting up at a cafe and observing. This is a popular pasttime in the outdoor cafe culture, especially in Sevilla. One of the best places to grab a front row seat to these events is along the Guadalqivir River, which is where I am today. Looking out at Calle Betis with the noise of rowers in the water and cyclists on the wooden slats of the bike path, both water and sun are mesmerizing.
As though a switch has been flipped by the appearance of the sun, the Sevillanos spill into the streets. One of my favorite scenes is set like so: six tables outside a cafe, three are occupied. The patrons sit with their backs to the wall in various states of relaxation, with their faces to the sun. The other tables sit empty and no one speaks – a rarity in this country. Not the old man with the paper, the couple with the map, nor the student with the book. Even the black and white clad waiter has nothing to add, propped up in the doorway with his face tilted upward – the sun has said it all.
There is a magnetizing force between sun and Spaniard – something deeply rooted like the moon and the tides. It electrifies this city like a live wire and every patch of sunlight has someone in it. Grandma, toddler, father, pigeon or dog.
Time out, Spain says – can’t you see the sun is shining?
Off I go to Madrid to meet my parents for a 12 day Spanish vacation. We will tour Madrid, Sevilla, Granada and some nearby cities. Sunny skies await .. 🙂