Near Hontanas, Spain – March 10, 2017
The table-flat horizon of the meseta forces the sky to stretch as far as it can to reach the horizon. It pulls the edges down, thinner and thinner, until the sky seems ready to burst across its seams. Light spills between the grey clouds. Cracks of blue sky shift and grow. Wind-pushed shadows and sun slide across the green grass and red dirt.
Nothing dares to stand against the wind. It pours unchallenged over the expanse, endless, unhindered by hill or forest. It feels a part of the land, like it has always been there, always will be there, flowing, bending grass, shoving pilgrims as they march west. It roars into my ear drums, constant and loud, pushes at my steps, shifts my weight around, never lets me forget that it is there, that this is its home, that I am only a visitor.
The stretched sky, the rushing wind, the big, puffy clouds breaking apart into widening blue cracks, they cast the fields in a thousand shades of green. The grass seems endless, field after field, broken only by freshly tilled earth and stone piles collected over generations of farmers working the ground.
It all makes me feel small, a temporary speck against the curve of earth, a windblown dot on the horizon, a bit of dust drifting across the green table. I relish that feeling, that reminder of how big the world is. It fills me with life, with strength to move, to keep drifting as the sun sets and the moon rises, drifting past a town crowded with pilgrims stacked head to toe in bunk beds, drifting as silver light replaces the last burning pinks and yellows of sunset, past an old man and his dog who only nods agreement when I pass with the words luna llena on my lips, drifting on along the meseta in the night.