Although it’s half past seven in the morning, the sun has yet to rise. Stillness. Quiet. Darkness. A few hours ago, the streets buzzed with chatter – comforting, happy white noise. Now, everything is silent. The streets glow with the signature yellow Spanish hue. Burnt umber walls and dim street lights reflect soft, golden beams off of the damp, recently-cleaned cobblestones. I’m seeing the scene through a sepia filter, mesmerized by the glow.
I hug my family, embracing them one by one. Their suitcases and sleepy selves take up the width of the narrow Santa Cruz alley and the Cathedral bells chime in the background. Crisp fall air fills my lungs. It’s refreshing, it feels good – but the goodbye, not so much.
“Just keep writing,” my mama says, “I love you.”