I watch the man shelter his woman from the rain with his umbrella, making sure her make up didn't smear, even though he knows she looks much better without it. I watched him pull her in close and tuck her in. And as they walked out of the church doors I wondered where their life might take them now. But most important I wondered what brought them here. Is it fate? Is it coincidence? Or is fate, coincidence?
They might return home talking for hours over a bottle of wine only to later run through the rain puddles in the backyard. Because fate has brought them together, spontaneously but strategically. And fate makes them do the things that give them butterflies. Or he might remove is dirtied clothes, put on his reading glasses and check his email, because tomorrows work is much to heavy to put off for a day, for a glass of wine.
They could be in their 60's they could be in their 20's. But they are strangers to some and Personas de Espana to me. And strangers are merely strangers when they are kept at a distance. We walk amongst them everyday. We see them stumble over the crevice in the sidewalk and chuckle to ourselves happy that it wasn't us that took the fall. We are just thankful that we didn't have to endure that speed bump today. And we are happy we can say "Well if I were you..." instead of "I am".
We see these strangers embrace in the middle of the crosswalk because their love canwithstand the honks and the stares that life throws them. We see them rise and we see them fall, the strangers that pass us by. But when we only see the rise and the fall, we tend to miss the conclusion. We tend to miss the lesson.
And then I became one of them. I became a personas de Espana today. Not the one I hide behind a tree to take a picture of. Not the photogenic one. The one who brings a tear to my eye. The stranger who draws me in with their dark Spanish gaze, saying "help me because I have sought and not found. Now, I am lost so find me because love has only one language you said it yourself".
I was that young woman , that little girl, that widow, that ex- girlfriend, I was that strangerin the metro, who couldn't hide her emotions beneath her scarf or wipe the tears from her face.
Yet, my sadness wasn't strange at all because here in Spain life is beautiful, even when it is sad. It is something cherished. It is something borrowed. Like your friends lucky baseball hat, your cousins favorite jeans, or your mothers hand sewn Halloween costume, life is like a temporary gift, one that must be returned. When? We never know? Why? We don't know that either. But we do know who, because that who is us. And the gift of life takes us from being a stranger (a who) on the metro, to something cherished under their umbrella. They say when it rains, it pours. But it only pours when there is no one to hold up your umbrella.