Lost In Spain
In the small town of Toledo, Spain, everything works on a different time scale. The pace of the day mirrors the weather, a steady heat coming from a sun without any clouds. When we first got to our dorm we decided to wander the town to get to know the area that we’d be staying in for the next 3 months. Leaving our things in a clutter on the floor of our room, we took off to find some bottled water to store for later to stay hydrated.
We got lost following the narrow paths of the city, which hadn’t accounted for the width of two lanes of cars. Up and down the hills with buildings towering overhead, we lost our orientation. Upon stopping at a shop that was open, we purchased 2 large gallon bottles of water.
It was getting dark by that time. Without street names, and without a sense of the city, we realized that we were across town and had no idea how to get back. We had no cell phones, little cash and barely spoke the language.
I thought about the pathways that I have memorized in my hometown. None of which were any help now. Standing there, with our arms pulled toward the ground, everything that mattered back home ceased to exist. Any baggage other than what I left in my room was gone.
It gave me intense clarity of my purpose for my being that day. I was to find water, and then bring it back.
For the first time in awhile, it felt like the the world had no other expectations of me. I just have to keep walking. “That’s easy,” I thought. I can do that. My attention was on one thing. I wasn’t pulled in a million directions or pinged by distractions. No one had any expectations of me. I just had to walk and then say “yes” to the next turn that would appear before us. At some point I’d find the correct path.
I have ambitions, and I crave at the top of whatever I do. But it’s also a burden. A driver for productivity and a weight to carry around with you when you feel lost. The weight of the water is nothing compared to the weight of having to constantly do all the time.
Somewhere in the distance, down one of these winding roads there’s a place for me to sleep. In my hands I hold a small accomplishment for that day. And in this moment, I'm walking.