Communique from Cómpeta – #3

First there was this, one morning, with the sun still newborn

Beckoning quaintly, softly, painted on a rock wall

No flashy billboards in this quiet mountain town, stuffed with garishness

Fake smiles filled with fake teeth, techno beats from advertising dances

Here they keep it simple. This is what we offer, drop by should the mood strike

It did, so we followed the arrow

Lovely food, with the attendant grace of true service and not unrequited attitude

Sun-burnished locals wandered through the open patio

Some stayed and joined, others just said hello, drifting among the tables

All were friends here, including the quartet they’d just met

We eventually moved on, as one must do, other things to explore

Like another patio in another square, later, with the sun aging

Where the welcoming committee was a bit more furry

He didn’t give his name, but cats often don’t

Still, he encouraged all of us to stroke him briskly, repeatedly, navigating the forest of our legs and attentions

He mewed, he did, telling us of his wants and desires

Most of them centered on the contents of nearby tables

Potential dropped manna from a shorter sky, hope springing eternal

But he had other dreams as well, secret quests

One of them called to him, as they do, and he slipped away

Fog on little cat feet

The bell in the nearby church tower spoke of a long hour

Darkness comes late this month of the year, but still it comes

It was time to go, but hard to do

As the locals continued to circle the square

Calling out greetings across the cooling cobblestones…

Original Note: Greetings from Cómpeta, Spain. More to follow. Assuming the cat doesn’t convince me to follow the fog to a secret place in our faded imaginations…

New Note: Previously published, nearly three years ago, on one of our multiple sojourns to southern Spain. I snatched this out of the archives as I’m a bit misty tonight, looking back, reflecting on this and that after more than a year of Covid. (And yes, I realize that I recently shared another Cómpeta flashback. My reflections tend to have a theme. Have you noticed?)

I miss the travel adventures, the mishaps and the successes. I miss our festive traveling companions Raz and Rosanna, who are up for anything, with gusto. But mostly, right now in this self-indulgent, reflective moment, I miss the way the particular sunlight in an ancient land on the rim of a sea speaks to my writerly soul, without fail. And I want to hear more…


29 replies »

  1. We’re all a bit nomadic at heart and the last year and its restrictions and terror are bound to bring out the wanderer in all of us, now that the terror is diminishing. Here’s hoping you can go to that place that touches your writer’s soul with its sunshine and ancient land! Celebra la vida!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Celebra, indeed. The Covid Consternation has been wretched and terrible, but if we are able to find silver linings, one of them is this: We have learned (well, some of us have) just how important some things in our lives are, and how unimportant other things prove to be. In the past, I have sometimes quibbled over the cost of our foreign adventures. Not anymore. If I can find the pennies, somehow, I’m going. I only have so much time left, a limited number of stories that I can write, and, once we get the all-clear, why shouldn’t I go to the places that inspire me?

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I miss it, and I’ve never been. Your words paint a beautiful picture.

    I guess I better make sure I have a valid passport when I “run away from home” so we can meet again (for the first time) in that lovely square in Spain.🥰

    Liked by 3 people

    • I can guarantee, without any hesitation, that you would love Competa. It’s a smallish town, not on the actual coast, but high enough in the beautiful mountains that you can still see the Mediterranean. The people are amazingly-friendly and laid-back. (If we get around to doing something productive today, that’s fine. If we get around to it tomorrow or next week, that’s fine, too.) There’s a large contingent of ex-pats from England who have retired in the area, so the language barrier is mostly non-existent, with lots of bilingual folks willing to help you out in a pinch.

      And this is perhaps the thing I enjoy the most: Many of the folks go out for dinner every night. There’s a surprisingly large number of restaurants, considering the small size of the town. (And they are super affordable. Our quartet could eat and drink for hours on a sunny patio, and we MIGHT spend fifty bucks, total, if even that. You basically can’t do that in America, not with four people imbibing and shoving fresh seafood or whatnot in their mouths.) And even though we would only be there for a week or two at a time, you would see the same people at the same restaurant every night, and we would all be friends by the time we left. It’s a different, wonderful culture and way of embracing life.

      Did I mention the golden sunlight? And the average temperature, year-round, is something like 82 F?

      So, yes, get that passport. Stat. 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

      • You KNOW that I’m going to join that party, if it gets started. To meet both of you on a sunny patio where the fresh seafood flows (sorry, no drinking for this old girl, but if they do ‘virgin’ margaritas it’s all good) would scrub the remaining stains from my soul I think! I’ve got my passport, now do you think Spain will let the ‘ugly’ (not you guys obviously) Americans in?

        Liked by 2 people

        • Spain would welcome you with open arms, as would I and I’m sure Angie would as well. The major cities might be a little fast and flashy (Malaga is near Competa) but once you get away from such and into the small towns, there’s no pretension and lots of acceptance. It’s a respectful and decent way to live, an aspect that has gone missing in so many parts of America, big and small. The three of us could talk for hours at a quaint outdoor restaurant, noshing on delicious this and that, and then go to bed very happy, excited about the next day. Sounds perfect, yes?

          Liked by 1 person

          • Yes, it does! And I understand the very air in Spain is exotic and full of nuances that America has come to lack. The light is amazing too (according to my nephew who has traveled there (I believe) with his brother on a walking tour of Europe. Artists’ mecca.

            Liked by 1 person

  3. “Fake smiles filled with fake teeth”. LOL. That’s funny. When I was living very near a college campus, there are so many feral cats. I am too lazy to adopt them. I often feel very guilty about this. All sweet cats need a home.

    Liked by 3 people

    • No need to feel guilty about caring for the feral cats, as we do more than our share here at Bonnywood. We never turn away or ignore any stray that comes to our backdoor, and right now we are feeding a momma cat and her eight kittens. We can’t take them in, but they will not be hungry on our watch. Eventually they will move on to whatever might be next in their lives, as they usually do….

      Liked by 2 people

      • Wow, thank you for doing that. Bonnywood is such an animal sanctuary and I love it. I am kind hearted, but I am too lazy for any physical work and don’t want to add more chores to my busy schedule. LOL. I sound so selfish, don’t I? Love your work–both in writing and in animal rescue.

        Liked by 3 people

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