My bed and breakfast sat on the hillside a short walk from La Colina train station situated above Torremolinos near Malaga, Spain. Before the sun grew in strength over the dusty, rocky slope, I would strike out on a constitutional to think, to meditate, and to take in this luscious view of southern Spain. The beaches of Torremolinos lounge against the quiet Mediterranean. Inconsequential waves caress the light, scintillating sand. Sunbathers glow with bronzed-oil skin. A northern European family played volleyball while laughing about something one of the children had said.
On other days, eschewing the allure of the shore, I’d stop in the shops filled with the usual tourist trinkets, books on Spain, and beach gear for the poorly prepared. My favorite shop offered local art–acrylic paintings, water colors, shell art, and a wonderful assortment of colored sand displays. I frequented this shop enough to strike up an acquaintance with the young woman who ran the counter. Her Spanish/English/French abilities worked well to overcome my modest French and English. We spoke of travel, food, and art. She loved Greece and Turkey. I reminisced about Tunisia.
I grew to love Spain, though I should say Andalusia and Catalonia. I love Barcelona nearly as much. These two regions captivated my spirit in ways that are difficult to express. I believe they touched my like I wished my childhood years had done growing up in southern California. Similarities of climate and flora connect them, yet the Spanish of each region seemed more to be “my people” as if I had been born in nearly the right place among the wrong people. Maybe I was simply a few decades late for southern Californian culture.
Nonetheless, I’m grateful for the time passed around the Andalusian coastline and the views from La Colina. Perhaps I’ll return one day.