The world moves so fast. Car whiz by in a blur, ruffling my jacket. Data streams through the air, feeding our need for connection and communication. I sit in the town square of Vianna, in the north of Spain. Condensation clings like a rock climber to my glass of beer, before dripping down, pooling atop the wooden table. The weather is perfect, the rare balance between the heat of the Spanish summer and the embrace of the cooling eve. A light wind stirs leaves. They rustle along the stone wall, collecting in a corner, before escaping with an unseen eddy. I lazily draw my camera snapping a few shots. The scene is beautiful. I sit alone watching, disconnected and in a void.
Smoke drifts lazily above the cobblestone streets. The setting sun, warm and golden creates halos around locals as they walk towards the light. Three story buildings with balconies protected by black wrought iron, stand at attention on either side of the street funneling the last rays of light down toward the plaza. Bugs buzz and flit in the golden hue. Families sit and talk together, spanning generations: children, parents, and grandparents all gather in the square. There is WiFi. It doesn’t work. No one cares. They rarely reach for their phones. Everything they need is right here. The void is all consuming. Space, time, cares, distractions, everything, all fade away.
The bell of the ancient church chimes 19:30. Time slips by, fading amidst the laughter of the children playing ball and chasing each other on scooters. Perhaps it is only me and my fellow travelers who pay it any attention. It is ancient like the road we walk towards Santiago. It is strong like our bodies are becoming and it is weather worn like our skin already is. As much as I feel alone, away from family and friends, I feel close to home. I have a clarity of thought that astounds me.
I sit until both my beer and the sunset are gone. I often think this modern world moves too fast for me, yet I control the lever. It has been in neutral for too long, thus the feeling of motion passing me by. I draw an arrow in the water which has pooled at the base of my glass. The arrow points forward, to the future. I stand and follow it. It’s time for change. For the first time in a long time, I am ready for it. Todo Cambio.