Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Spain: Forced Relaxation

Less than 48 hours after I had been back in southern Spain, I revisited my old loves of the country. And—typically of Spanish life—all of these things eased me into lazy relaxation: seventy-degree sunshine, a Rosa-homecooked seafood meal, tinto de verano, tapas dinner style, a Spanish beach, cheap and convenient bus rides, a baguette.

Yesterday, however, even armed with the correct keys I wasn’t able to get into the apartment with the groceries. When I was forced—forced!—to stroll in the sun and laze around on a park bench, I thought Spain was taking my spring break a little too seriously. I’ve always been inept with keys, but after fifteen minutes of hopeless fumbling, I had to admit I hadn’t suddenly gained new skills in the art of door opening.

And I realized: Spain may actually receive attention from the sun, as opposed to Grand Rapids, and people here may smile a whole lot less and dress a whole lot nicer, but a place is a place is a place and a person is a person is a person. Even here I still can’t get in the damn door if God doesn’t want me to. Even here, I have a cold. Even here, I battle my addiction to chocolate (and by “battle” I mean “revel in”).

This is my Father’s world and I do rest in that thought.

Maybe that’s why I still want to travel so much: because I can keep having this realization again and again and again.

“Lord, what fools these mortals be!”