A love letter for San Sebastian…

Posted by jswt | Posted in General, Spain - San Sebastian | Posted on 03-05-2010

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“Take a little, but take it often”

You were still sleeping when I woke, but I couldn’t leave your side without leaving a few inspired words I hope will make our parting less difficult.

I cannot believe it was but a week ago that I didn’t even know your name – to think back upon a time without knowing of you feels like a life only half lived. The initial attraction and connection I felt for you was immediately undeniable: your sensual scenery, your seductive opalescent seas staring back with a hint of tempetous froth, that vibrant soul which fills those around you with such joy they literally burst into song as they overflow with your beauty. And this longing was not one sided – I knew immediately that the experience of your years beyond mine had instilled in you the a shared set of motivations and base desires: sense of community, enjoyment of the finer things, respect for unique spirit, the relaxed pace of a life fully lived, and smiles that come from deep within the heart.

Although we fell into each other for but a week, it will be one that will stay with me forever:

I will never forget the sound of the white sand crunching underneath us as we settled into long hot afternoons on the beach, with the ancient stone pillared causeway braced behind us and surrounded by the smiles of families across generations playing and sharing in the sun and surf.

I will never forget the fine food I was blessed with in your company that take simple eating to a social artform, especially your family’s traditional pintxos which might just be the most civilized and evolved way of enjoying a meal and good company. Long in my soul will linger the songs from Monday nights’ chance encounter when the insanely (and refinedly!) inebriated old men shut the bar door and burst into basque song, belting out local anthems with the locals and inviting us to sing and dance with them. Afternoon lunches with bottles of wine and seafood caught that morning, unprecedentedly delicious 3 hour dinners surrounded by friends, and the absolutely unforgettable feeling from our night at the cider-house that could never ever come close to being done justice with mere words or images.

We surfed, we danced past sunrise on the beach, we stood at the feet of Jesus. We slept in together, we stayed up late under the full moon, and every afternoon we would curl up for a few hours of siesta time to ourselves. Every day together felt like two, and in this brief time you taught me the secret of doubling my life and not suffering from the fate of feeling rushed or short of time: stretch it thin, and you will be as well, but make the most of the the time given to you and you will receive the gift of more.

We both knew though that we could not last, that I had another city in my life to who’s waiting arms I needed to return at the end of the week. Some might say it was from this limited time affair that our time together ran so deep and our bond so strong, but we both know how real it was, and even though we’re not together, we’ll stay forever smiling in each other’s heart.

I return now to home, with faint hope though not an expectation that we’ll meet again, but i say wholeheartedly that my life is better for having been in your presence, and your beauty, spirit and joie de vivre will never be forgotten.

Let me kiss the salt on your white sand hand this one last time before I sail forth from your shelter and warmth, and disappear to the west, back over the horizon…

Hello and goodbye my sweet San Sebastian.