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El albergue

El albergue

Monday, March 19, 2012

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Oh man, I’m so tired.  I’ve been playing hard the past two days, and now, like a little kid, I’m all tuckered out and ready to collapse into bed.  The fun started on Sunday, when we went with a big group of friends from church to a village near Toledo for a BBQ in, wait for it…..a castle!  Well, it’s not really a castle castle, more like the home of a uniquely quirky member of our congregation, but it did used to be an old fortified dwelling of the type used by lesser nobles that he converted into something a little more modern.  It’s also not alone on the top of a windswept hill or buried deep in the shadowy bowers of the forest.  Rather, it is closed in on every side by other gently crumbling homes in the middle of a very small, very quaint town.  It’s a lovely spot for a group hang-out though, with a porch and living room just big enough for close to 30 people to mill about, as well as a terrace on top overlooking terracotta roofs jumbled together into a charming little mish-mash and a beautiful view of the sun setting on the gentle swell of hills in the distance.

You can just see the turrety-thingy-ma-jobby
on the rooftop terrace.

That was probably my favorite part of this excursion – being able to look out over the countryside and see wide-open sky.  I did have a whole lot of fun playing tag and Capture the Flag that evening in the sleepily empty main square with the other seven people who stayed the night, as well as our bit of Charades and all the light-hearted laughter we shared over silly nonsense, but in the background of every moment was the feeling of being able to breath more easily and stretch out a little more.  I hadn’t thought about how I missed being able to see all of the sky without it being cut off by buildings on every side.  But today, as we trekked around the town and relaxed on the roof terrace of the little castle, I reveled in the glorious expanse of blue stretching out over my head, in the endless parade of perfectly tinted clouds floating across the sky.  It felt good.  It felt right.  It felt as though I was coming home in a way, returning to the wonderfully open skies of my little hometown with its plethora of almond orchards and other agricultural enterprises.  I still feel like Madrid is my home for now, since that’s where I live, where I work, and where I have so many friends, but going out into the countryside again felt like an intimate homecoming, a return to my natural state of being.

Ahh, beautiful open skies


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