There are times in my travels, when I simply stop and sink hard into the present moment. The world, for timeless seconds, spins around me — and in that dizziness, all I can do is smile and send my thanks to every single thing, person, place or event in my life that has led me up to that very moment.
And one of those precious moments came to me last night.
It’s 2 am and I sit on a stool in a small bar, drinking a white-wine Sevillian concoction with “compañeros” I met in the street the day before. I suddenly realize that I have been speaking only, and fully comprehending, Spanish for over six hours. This realization is enough to startle a solid smile. A song comes on the radio, and Alex disappears behind the bar and returns with a type of box drum, of which he sits upon and begins to bang out the pulse that resonates with the heart of life in Southern Spain; Flamenco. The rain beats outside on the street in unison. Juan pulls me up off my stool and demonstrates to me the “paseos basicos” de Flamenco. A few minutes later, my arms are in the air, and his chest is puffed out in the manner of the Matador. We “dar vueltos” and stride around each other in pace to the “feel” of the music. Juan, in a rusty and enchanting voice begins the song. The couple that owns the place kiss silently behind the bar.
Alex is lost in his beat. Juan is lost in his song. The couple are lost in their kiss. And I am lost in what I have found.
For this is it. This is one of the moments I’ve been seeking all my life. And finding such a moment is comparable to that high I receive on the salsa dance floor. It’s like I’ve grasped hands with life, followed its lead into six consecutive turns, and fallen into a dip. I watch the world turn upside down, come back up, and smile out loud in the dizziness that ensues.
For this moment alone, I have lived. And for this moment again, I pursue.