Every summer I go to Madrid. The city where I spent my childhood years and my twenties. My last trip was different from all the others. It felt like Fall had taken over my soul as Isabel Allende put it in an interview. Most of her life her soul felt like Summer, but since the death of her daughter Julia, her heart withered into Fall, and now seasons within, take turns from Spring to Fall, but mostly the latter.
I landed in late July knowing well that my heart would ache as my grandmother was no longer with us. I used to pay her daily visits and chit-chat about life and most recently, her own life as a kid. This year’s visit was plagued by memories from yesteryears prompted mostly by a little box of memories I had to go through to make more room in my dad’s house. This little box contained books, of course, but also diaries from an early age. My writings were often bleak and one especially stood out, written on my 22nd birthday where I said I wanted out. I was so sad and lost then. A rush of bitter feelings come up which ignited a constant stream of memories throughout my trip. Some happy, some sad, but mostly they’ve all brought me a new perspective on life and peace within. From a distance, that only time and age allow us, I saw how most of my fears never came to be. I can’t change the past, neither do I want to because it’s my personal journey. What are we but our memories, struggles, broken pieces and happy moments? Life is a balancing act. Looking through the letters, pictures, books, and diaries the little box contained, I saw how I had come full-circle. As if everything had fallen neatly where it was meant to be. Looking back on my youth, those days now prove that nothing was so bad, nothing was so pressing, nor so sad. Now, I have stories to tell and very few regrets.
As for the box and its contents; Charlie Brown collection has been set aside for some child to enjoy, diaries discarded, and some letters have made it to the “for keeps” list. I can now look ahead and be grateful that while it may feel like Autumn some days, I know I still have moments of Spring and Summer ahead.