As with most decisions in my life, they come quickly and I rarely veer from the path once defined. Selecting Estepona, Spain as my Mediterranean destination, I prepared myself to be “bliss-tified” and didn’t look back.
The villa I rented rests thirty meters from the beach that stretches for miles in either direction. A view of the town of Estepona beckons in the distance both day and night, and Gibraltar and Africa grace the horizon. The glassed-in veranda overlooking the beach opens to the invitation of gentle breezes and the songs of birds. Flowers abound, and the scent of orange blossoms and jasmine fill the air. Spanish music drifts through the window, and the sound of voices mingle with the sound of the waves. All is well in my world, wrapped within the walls of this wonderful getaway.
So let me define “my blissful” from a Spanish perspective. It is a meteor flashing across the night sky and the moonlight reflected on the water. It is the warmth of the sun that greets me every morning just like a cup of coffee, and the wind that cools my face when the sun gets hot. It is tapas shared at my favorite cafe with a vino rosada or pitcher of sangria, as the birds perch on the chairs and boats drift quietly into the marina. A cafe con leche and a friendly hola from a passerby warm my soul in the cool of the evening. As I struggle with my limited Spanish, the locals smile and show infinite patience. A siesta in the afternoon draws everything into a quite peace, and I long to embrace the culture here. Can heaven be so blissful? Job said “these are just the edges of his ways”, and I say hallelujah!
As I ponder “blissful” here on the shores of the Mediterranean, I must ultimately recognize that it is a state of mind, and therefore is not anchored by ones surroundings as much as by ones outlook on life. For me it is leaving the baggage behind and embracing new experiences; allowing new occurrences to outshine the old, if only for a season.
As I work on my assignment for writer’s group here on the southern coast of Spain, my husband wanders around the villa, a little restless as he waits to make our way downtown for a warm hello and a cold drink. I tell him I brought him along simply to drive the standard - smile. But truth be known, it wouldn’t be a blissful paradise without him.
I think I have successfully embraced blissful: I have found my nirvana. So what’s next? Simply book this wonderful haven for even longer next year. Done!
I would like to be able to say that I miss my life in Nova Scotia, but in all honesty I could simple leave it behind and begin again, as I have done for most of my life. I love new beginnings; new experiences. I believe they are the essence of youthfulness, and I hope to embrace them for many years to come. Here’s to following your dreams and finding your blissful. May you carry it with you wherever you go.