The rains came this week, along with gray skies that lingered like moss. Heavy. Relentless. The sun would peek out just long enough for me to put clothing on my line, only to hide once more, and give my clothes an additional rinse cycle.
When it rains, the city closes in on itself. People dart from their cars to the vegetable stand, masked with umbrellas or hoods. The customary Hasta Luego remains, but it is muffled. In the evening, the streets are emptier, sodden and slick.
This place is simply not made for rain. Nor am I. My heart will always be sunshine, warmth, and movement. So, when we lose the light, even for short periods, I grieve a bit. I curl into myself, slack on the couch. I mindlessly scan the internet, or pick up and put down books after skimming a paragraph.
But when the sun returns, I sweep the back patio, and put lavender in pots. We chase seagulls by the shoreline, and greet friends with kisses on the calles. I hold a small hand in mine, at look at the images of Maria throughout the town.
I too, remember these things, and treasure them in my heart.
In year two of my Spanish adventure, my eyes are a bit less wide. There is rain—I say the wrong things, or am unable to say anything at all. I wonder, every single day, if we are giving our children the childhood they deserve.
I’m at the point with my language where I crave fluency. The rain tells me that my Spanish is tedious to native speakers— bumbling, incorrect, and lethargic.
But then, when the sun returns, I realize that I am trying. That is all I can do. I open my mouth and speak, seeking out connection, and finding kind eyes.
My children snack on langostinos and warm bread. The sing in Spanish to themselves as they shower, and they hold hands as they walk home from school. My five year old writes in cursive and the first book he reads independently will probably be en espanol.
Light abounds. It seeps from the corners and cracks, and it always returns.