Barcelona, Sunday morning, in the middle of a sigh!
Anyone who knows me will have undoubtedly heard my “fortunate” comments around work, life, family, travel, opportunities, or other things-life at some point. Yes, self righteous, I know, but there is no other way I can express how I feel when I live these scenes.
Not long ago, in the late 70´s and early 80´s while I was still a kid in El Salvador, life was very different. Having no money, my family could barely afford to dress me in the required school uniform. One of my older sisters was a dress-maker and she made me my one uniform which I had to care for in order for it to hold up the whole week of school. Shoes were worn until the sole came off. Pencils where used until the eraser what the only thing between little fingers trying to write. Clases where multi-grade multi-age classes where one teacher was in charge of 30+ students of many different grades/ages. Going home presented the challenge of staying away from army soldiers who would, at will, take young boys into an immediate draft. Forget about bullies, I don’t remember any bullying problems back then.
Afternoons or weekend walks to the center of town often included a must-visit to the town hall where the day’s previous casualties of the ongoing civil war where laid out in wooden boxes in public view such that families could come down to claim the loved one(s)’s body. It was part of growing up.Though morbid, it became my source of news for the day and I got to go home to tell my older sister who I’d seen. If I knew the family of the deceased I would pay a visit to their house to let someone know that they should go to city hall to claim their loved one. I didn’t know better.
Sleeping in a one-room, one light-bulb room, my bed space was right below my sisters’ bed, on the floor. My memory of childhood dreams is filled with middle-of-the-nigh waking up biting down on the bed sheet that served as my pillow as I rarely went to bed with a full stomach and the hunger and dreams of eating would wake me. So, now that I’ve traveled, done, seen, eaten, slept, loved, life is sweet. Seeing the sky every time I step out of my apartment is a delight, it is something to savor. Walking the streets and hearing and smelling the lazy Sunday come to life brings a smile to my lips. I can’t help it.