martes, 9 de julio de 2013


At first sight when you look out from my bedroom window you see a lovely little balcony complete with whitewashed walls and overhead arc and brick coloured crisscross pattern that makes up the railing, letting you see glimpses of sand and ocean between the x's. In the background framed by the white walls and overhead arch, like a moving photograph out of a Harry Potter movie, is the gorgeous Meditteranean Sea in all its glory that as if by magic, or perhaps they are reflections of mother's nature moods, continuously changes colours, from deep blue, to turquoise, to gray. If you take those few steps out onto the balcony and look over, a whole world that you didn't know existed moments before opens up before your eyes. Careful hours I have spent watching and observing the little community that lives below my balcony and now feel a part of, whether as an observer or partaker, the quiet harmony between the complexity and simplicity of living by the sea. 

Beneath my balcony the cars go continuously by, their drivers using their horns as if they were musical instruments keeping time to the beats of the loud reggaton music pumping out the windows. The youth that spend day in and day out beneath my balcony and on the beach chat with buoyent voices which thunder through the air, gossiping about the latest news (whether Pepe really kissed Maria during lunch hour, if Marco and Ana had really broken up, who likes who and so on). Their voices reflect the grey area between the innocence of a child and the beginnings of an adult and their topics express the urgent importance of life as an adolescent.

The old men that sit in the shade of the trees that line the promenade speak in husky voices and joke with their friends. Their wrinkled faces and dark skin betray their daily life under the Andalucian sun and their hands show years of hard work that is now at rest. They speak in hushed voices with the knowledge of men that have lived impressionable lives and can now pass their time conversing with old friends under the lazy sun.

The women, most of them wives of the men who sit under the trees to hide from the midday heat, bustle about sweeping and chatting with their friends, catching up on the latest news of the community. Their energy seems boundless, but I am sure at the end of the day they must fall into bed too tired to even kiss their husbands goodnight.

The restaurant called La Longa which is situated to left of my balcony is always busy with waiters rushing too and fro. Three times a day they bring out the tables from the back door and set up the cutlery and chairs and three times a day they take them back inside the restaurant, whether there are customers or not. I don't think I will ever understand this ritual that the manager deems necessary. On weekends, when the beach is bustling, the restaurant overflows with people eating fried fish and espetos (sardines slowed cooked over open fire on little boats on the beach). In the air here, there is always the smell of burning wood that comes from these restaurant's barbeques. The mix between burning wood and salt water is intoxicating and will link me to this world inextricably... forever.

Once in a while, as is happening right at this moment, the men who sit in the bar on the other side of the restaurant, the same men who "control" this stretch of the beach, turn to each other and begin an impromptu round of clapping that quickly turns into a flamenco beat and you heat the whistles of appreciation from others who gather to share in the moment. The multitude of birds who also call this little community their home, answer to the sound of the men's clapping with their voices as if creating a flamenco song together or having a contest to see who can make more noise.

The view from my window here is rather incredible. It is the complete opposite of that which I find back home in Canada, where the quiet sounds of the forest are only disrupted by the trains that pass by. The forest where as a child I dreamed of the lives of fairies and animals who lived in perfect harmony controlled by the forest nymphs whose King and Queen lived under mushroom hats on the hillside. There is a silence there that gives one the sensation that you are completely alone, that same solitude which now seems so foreign and strange to my ears as I am accustomed to the loud and musical sounds of this little street by the sea. Here, even if I am sitting alone on my balcony or just listening from my window, I am never alone. We all live in this little world together... this little world, outside my window where the sea keeps rolling by and the whispers of happiness fill the air.

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