I am sitting on a wooden bench, my smile rushing into the rays of the Spanish sol. I close my eyes, less to hide from the heat and more to let myself dive into the pulse of the street. I hear some Spanish dialects that go right in tune with the rustle of the palm trees. A strange feeling deep, beyond my chest, tells me I am the missing cobblestone from the path in front of me. I am organic part of this place. Just like I was also organic part of the other place, far-far away, under the Floridian sun.
Mallorca is the island where I found myself – again.
A part of me had run away, I don’t know exactly when, and hid itself here. The island’s sounds and scents create my most striking memories. The moment when I stepped out of the airport and into the Spanish warm breeze, I gasped instinctively for air and then let go a deep, ancestral sigh. Like I had been holding my breath for ages. Or like a thousand heavy blocks had been suddenly lifted from my chest.
I don’t know if it’s the Hispanic culture, or the warm climate, or the salty air, or the tall, naked palm trees. Maybe it’s a combination of all. But when I am surrounded by my four vital elements, I have the peculiar feeling of Hope.
It’s like the city of palms formed the physical sketch of my mental image of the otherwise abstract Hope. Once you see this place you have no choice but to remain hopeful that Paradise exists, that beautifully kind people are not forever lost; that tasty, cheap food can be found in any sun-filled cafetería.
I am being served my order at the breakfast table. My nostrils are invaded with an unearthly sweet scent of freshly pressed oranges from the island’s hills. As I take a bite from the pan con tomate, the olive oil and crushed tomatoes are throwing a parade to my taste buds. Such simple delights manage to show me what life is all about. I can only sit back and enjoy it.
I am walking the evening streets of the city of palms. My left hand is hidden carefully in another, loving, hand. But my eyes are free to explore, marvel and linger on old balconies and new cafés; white boats slow-dancing on water. The air smells like freesias and hyacinths, and salty wet sand. The hand that holds my hand guides me through alleys with century-old street lamps. Their light falls on the lacy corners as if trying to compose a sonata with its sway. The names of the boulevards and the plazas stand, in a calligraphic pose, on marble plates that take me to the world of toreadores and castañuelas. Once again, I feel I am part of this place. I am the missing fountain in the empty Plaza Mayor and the grain of sand running under the turquoise sea, in Cala Pi.
On a last sun-filled morning in the city of palms, I am left wondering how, just how you go back to your Life leaving Hope behind.