Sunday, January 18, 2009

Black and White Photos

I am sipping espresso and brandy and entertaining fond memories of another life I lived long ago. I am remembering life back when photographs were still in black and white - color prints were the exception. It was during the Franco-era and somehow, my memory has bleached out the color and even in my mind, the world I lived in back then was black and white.
Somehow in my crazy youth, I was fortunate enough to live in Spain. It wasn't part of a plan; it was just dumb luck. It was the start of learning how to live rather than simply making a living. There was nothing passive about it.
We spent most of the 70's in sunny Spain. Our son was born there. Our daughter began her formal education there.
In Spain, I learned to be independent and resourceful - far from my friends and family, separated by language and culture, my young spouse and I learned to be a couple there.
We lived without television, phones or central heat, but we never missed them. We spent our free time exploring Spain's back roads and byways, picnicking in deserted castles, attending fiestas, practicing our poor Spanish on innocent locals and flashing warm smiles to bridge the communication gap. I read voraciously. I had time to think. I had time to play. I was challenged each day. I felt alive and blessed.
In 12 weeks, I will return to Spain. This time I will be alone. I am walking the Camino. In many ways this will be like going home. But now, my world is not black and white. It is filled with colors - nuanaces and shades. The seed for this trip was planted way back in those black and white days when I had not yet sipped espresso or brandy; back when I could not have imagined the full, rich life I have lead; a life nurtured in those youthful days in sunny Spain; a life filled with color.
{Photos credit: @ Virginia J. Pulver, Spain 1977}

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