As I go about the simple things that I do in a day, I’m aware now of how soon I’ll be doing simple things in other places, and leaving these places and things behind. I ride my bike home from the market, and take note of the steel panel in the sidewalk on my route that bows down oddly, making it a bit of a hazard.
I think about the way that I’ve grown accustomed to yanking my bike up on its back wheel, maneuvering it into the elevator, and feeling for the button for the fifth floor, as there isn’t room to turn and look at the control panel if there’s anything in my backpack.
I wish I had overcome my shyness and gone over to talk to the elderly men who play some sort of bocce or bowling-like game at the end of what we call the Serpentine park. I’ve walked or ridden by them often. They generally bring a broom to sweep away fallen leaves or blossoms, getting the pitch ready. Ninja noticed that they have a string with a magnet at the end that they can use to pick up the balls without having to lean down for them. If I get up the courage to talk to them next year, I wonder if they’d let me play?
There are some simple things that we won’t be as likely to do someplace else, like walking down to the beach. Before flying out we perched for a few days at the flat of some friends who’re currently in Canada (thanks again, Aida and Dale!); from their place it’s a short walk down to the Mediterranean.
We went Monday night at around 9:30 pm, and it was a very different place than the crowded beach of midday. The sun was down, the moon was up, and the sky was a wash of pastel colors. The cool air matched the cool water, and the waves reflected the pale sky. Ninja and El Guapo went out to meet the surf, and I waded along thigh-deep, parallel to the cresting waves. The sand above the waterline was very smooth, so I was surprised at how uneven the sand under the waves turned out to be–it was a challenge to keep my footing.
As we say goodbye to Spain for a time, we’ll be taking reminders with us–for one thing, it’s going to be some time before Ninja finally gets all of that powdery sand out of his hair. Hasta la vista, Valencia!
[Images: yours truly, Google maps, El Guapo]