Well, you may have been wondering where I’ve been these last few months. It has, after all, been since May that you last heard from me. I’ve been busy and occupied with work and healing and travel. All in all it’s been a very productive year for me in every way but writing. But, that’s never something I worry about. I know some writers really stress when they are “blocked” and the words don’t come, not so for me. My wordsmithing tendencies do tend to take holidays so I’ve learned not to worry about where the words are, they always come back. Too, there’s always something interesting in their place: visual art or deep introspection replace the writing although sometimes, it’s just due to not making time to write.
This year was a very thought-provoking year. So with a backpack full of introspection I set out for Spain in late October. When I’m on the move, I feel most at home. Hence my Peregrination blog; I am a nomad at heart. Yet, there are certain countries that feel more like home to me and Spain is one of those places. Perhaps it’s because I grew up in California where Spanish influences have blended with west coast style to create its own architecture. Perhaps it is my childhood obsession with the missions on the Camino Real in California: missions created by Spanish missionaries. As a child I studied the California missions like many children today study dinosaurs. I can’t explain why I was obsessed to the point of being able to recite zillions of random facts about each of the 21 missions found between San Diego and Sonoma. Perhaps, it’s the latent genetic attachment from my Basque ancestors. Whatever the reason, Spain is a very comfortable place for me.
My home-coming is not felt in full force, however, until sealed by the sight of a bell tower. Towers such as the one pictured here, are also found in California and they are common throughout Spain. To me they are a quintessential symbol of Spain and its connection to my natal ground. So, after traveling all day from Madrid to León, and then walking a full day after that into the very small town of Villar de Mazarife, I finally felt the embrace of home upon sighting this bell tower. It’s not just the bells, or the tower, or the adobe that complete the sensation; it’s the stork nests.
I’d never seen a stork nest prior to arriving in Spain for the first time (in 1998). But, I saw so many on that trip that storks and towers have become, for me, an inseparable feature defining the Spanish landscape. Even though the storks in residence at this church had long flown toward Africa on their winter migration, I their nests were still symbols resonating in recognition of my home-coming.
And so it is with my words. They did fly off on a bit of a winter migration these last few months but they are constant in defining who I am; they are always a part of my personal landscape, part of where “I” come from. My recent word-winter has passed and my urge for verbal expression seems to be back to roost. Things are calmer now and I have more time to reflect and create. The joy I feel in seeing nature and simple beauty still abounds and you’ll surely see many new posts about nature and travel. However, after a year of extreme personal growth I’ve come to understand that I have more to say about politics, spirituality, and humanity, and those thoughts are, at times, clamouring to escape. I don’t have other venues in which to release these thoughts so I expect to use this blog for that purpose. I hope you’ll tolerate (maybe enjoy) that occasional intrusion and continue to read, as ultimately all of my thoughts are still all connected to journeys of one kind or another.
So, my dear readers, thank you for sticking out my absence. I pledge to be back on a more regular basis. Happy 2015 to you all!