far too much writing, far too many photos

Madrid, 3:45 a.m. — early Sunday morning or late Saturday night, your choice. A time of the day called la madrugada here: the wee hours. Plenty of people are out, carrying on in normal Saturday night fashion. The sounds of laughter and conversation — punctuated by calls or exclamations, occasionally by bits of song — come and go from the street several floors down, a nice backdrop to sleep (that last bit a statement I would have considered heresy a couple of years back).

I’m gradually preparing to return to the States, a process that has me feeling thoughtful, at times sad. This last evening, a young Polish couple came and bought a small TV/VCR and a DVD I needed to unload. In their mid to late 20’s, they were sweet, friendly, well-mannered, clearly excited to be picking up the items inexpensively and in good condition. I showed them that the units worked well, we boxed them up, they carried them downstairs, calling out good-byes as they went.

The process of slowly gearing up for the return to the States has been underway for a couple of weeks, but something about handing over those items tonight, their disappearance leaving a sudden gap here in the living room, felt like the first concrete step away from Madrid and had an impact I hadn’t expected, leaving me quiet, pensive. It’s not the items — they were rarely used, it was time for them to go. It’s the larger shift signified by that small act, a shift suggesting major changes in direction for this little life of mine.

I received an e-mail from a friend this evening, a smart, interesting Canadian woman who’s been working on a farm in Central America for the past couple of months. Her life there is also shifting as she prepares to leave the farm and travel with someone she met. And though she’s looking forward to the coming travels, her letter was permeated with melancholy.

We’re constantly moving on, whether we feel it in any given moment or not, leaving things, people, events behind as others enter our experience. I like change, and I know good things await. I’m just feeling… something about it all.

It will pass.

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