Day 368 - Call of Cordoba

Trip Start Nov 07, 2010
Trip End Jan 01, 2012

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Flag of Spain  , Andalusia,
Wednesday, November 9, 2011

After saying a fond if somewhat forlorn farewell to Barcelona I set my eyes South, to the broad sweeping valleys and snow capped mountains of the Andalucian countryside. As I sat by the window of the speeding bullet train, my thoughts seemed to race along at the speed of the framed scenery that flew by in a blur.  I'm coming home in two weeks and the concrete realization of this fact hasn’t quite set in yet.  I’ve been in somewhat of a daze these past few days.  Enjoying the comforts and culture of Spain, but always with the thought of what time remains nibbling, gnawing, chewing at the back of my skull.  I don’t know what to feel.  I actually feel nothing.  It’s an odd sense of surrealism, still living this life of a wandering traveler, but always with the knowledge of an end and impending return back to a life left long ago.  My emotions are so much in flux, it’s hard to grasp one fleeting feeling before it slips away under the weight of the next.  Excitement, accomplishment, hope, and anticipation, mixed with sadness, anxiety, nostalgia and trepidation, and the undercurrent constantly flowing beneath this stream of emotions - a hollowness, an emptiness, the numb silent sensation of a void in the darkness - the quiet before a storm.  I’ve become accustomed to not knowing what lies ahead, almost grown fond of the life led unquestioned and aimless through the wilds and beauty of the world, but this is a different kind of uncertainty.  One that brings with it old patterns and snares, hidden around every turn and waiting to entrap your spirit at the moment your will is unaware.  It’s with these muddled thoughts of sharp ambivalence that see me reaching the sleepy Spanish town of Cordoba.  It’s evening and the sun hangs low in the sky, giving a purple hue to the shadows that creep up the buildings as it declines.  I wander through the streets, stopping only to sip a café con leche and take a moment to breathe.  The rambling echoes of the thoughts in my head subside to a low persistent murmur before dying a temporary death.  I’m sure they’ll return over the following weeks, but just for now I’m glad to have some silence and peace.  Broad four-lane avenues turn to single lane streets, crisscrossed with bike paths and the lush greens of palm trees.  Before long those same streets whittle down to slivers of sidewalk and dark alleyways.  My feet take me to the door of a flat.  Two sharp knocks and a buzz, and I’m greeted with a smile and a hug.  More friendly couchsurfers to share their home, open their doors to a stranger and get to know yet another person who roams.  This time it was an apartment full of exchange students - Slovakian, Belgian and Germans all studying for a semester in Spain.  Their easy unassuming natures gave my soul some rest, and before long we were good friends clinking drinks at the local pub.  For the next few days in Cordoba, I wandered and explored - seeing the beauty of the Metzcal, a former mosque turned to a sweeping bell towered cathedral, getting lost amongst the King’s Gardens, where water and light played gracefully with the ferns and trees, and enjoying the raucous company and boundless energy that frequents all newly made comraderies.  Before long, those whisperings of doubt and panicked unnerve were just shades of the past, ghosts of a moment lost with the trickles of sand within an hour glass.  If I’ve learned anything along these travels, it’s that the journey will always continue, in one way or another, and it’s pointless to get caught up in trying to control the outcome.  Just let go and release yourself to the greater workings of the unknown.  The world always has a means of finding its way, you need only to have the right perception and awareness, an open mind and an open heart, and the path forward will always be revealed in the subtle hints of each day.  A calm sets in and my wanderings through Spain take on the lush golden colors of a long lingering sunset as I prepare for the dusk of my journey and the beginning of what’s next…

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