Today we start the trek back to Madrid (through Frankfurt) and then Monday it is the long flight home to New Orleans.
Tanja always talks about how much kids grow up in the summer, especially on vacation, on the coast, like both of us grew up with our parents. Tin has learned how to get his own milk from the fridge and pour it into his glass, how to swing on a big swing alone, how to snap his fingers (courtesy of Ana), how to compose his own song (courtesy of Moroccan drums I picked up on my day trip to Tangiers), how to sleep in different beds, how be with different people, how to dress himself, how to swim underwater, how to make a gin & tonic, how to travel (most important for being our son), how to speak Croatian more fluently, and how to speak Spanish, that fruits and veges make you grow big and tall, and how chocolate makes you grow big and round, how sugar makes you rise and crash, and most important, how to be Tin.
We’re going home to a Hurricane – not Isaac – but our lives; back into the groove of daily routines, education and work, and all the ties that make us root bound. In Selimovic’s Death and the Dervish, the main character Sheikh Ahmed Nuruddin speaks with his friend, Hassan who tells him:
“Everyone should be ordered to travel from time to time,” he said, getting fired up. “Or even more; no one should be allowed to stop in one place any longer than necessary. A man isn’t a tree, and being settled in one place is his misfortune. It saps his courage, breaks his confidence. When a man settles down somewhere, he agrees to any and all of its conditions, even the disagreeable ones, and frightens himself with the uncertainty that awaits him. Change to him seems like abandonment, like a loss of an investment; someone else will occupy his domain, and he’ll have to begin again. Digging oneself in marks the real beginning of old age, because a man is young as long as he isn’t afraid to make new beginnings. If he stays in one place, he has to put up with things, or take action. If he moves on, he keeps his freedom; he’s ready to change places and the conditions imposed on him. How can he leave, and for where? Don’t smile, I know we don’t have anywhere to go. But we can leave sometimes, creating the illusion of freedom. We pretend to leave, and pretend to change. But we come back again, calmed, consoled by the deception.”
Maybe we’ve all grown on this trip, seeing through changed eyes, hearing the familiar with our altered frequencies, thinking outside of the rutted grooves of our minds. A tree puts down roots to grow, a person is not a tree, after all some trees live hundreds of years, but for us to live that long, we must live hundreds of years in a shorter span, and for that, we need a larger world.