I need to go to Spain. It’s the only place that’s hung in my head and in my hear the past few years. I think it started in the year 2007 when I read a book about the Barcelona Soccer Club. I don’t remember everything about the club, but it seemed exotic, romantic, and mysterious.
I liked what the club stood for, “Mas Que Un Club”, more than a club. I liked that they (at least for a time) put Unicef on the front of their kits because they believed it was a sacred place. I liked reading about Johan Cruyff- the Dutch soccer player who my high school soccer coach worshiped. I don’t remember much from those days, but I do remember “the Cruyff move” where you step to the right with your left foot, but kick the ball behind that foot in the opposite direction. I wasn’t very good at it, but I still used it every so often during a pickup game.
I won’t pretend that I came a huge fan of the team right then, but they stuck with me. I was lucky enough that my parents bought me a jersey on their trip to Spain this past February. I take meticulous care of it.
During my senior year of college, it must have stuck with me a lot. During my baseball road trip with my roommate Andy, we stopped in Cleveland at one of my mom’s friends places. She insisted to take us out to a Spanish restaurant. We ate Paella and I drank a lot of Sangria. But six years later, I still haven’t gone.
I also read “For Whom the Bell Tolls” a few years ago. Ricky Rubio, a Spanish point guard for the Minnesota Timberwolves, became my favorite NBA player.
The other thing that stuck with me was the Camino Del Santiago, a trail along the northern part of Spain. I honestly don’t remember how I first heard about it, but it may have been from a former teacher who did the trail one summer. I became curious about it and I love the significance and the symbolism of the pilgrimage.
I eventually saw the movie “The Way”, which was about a father who takes up on the trail after his son dies at the beginning of his pilgrimage. I loved the bumpiness, both literal and metaphorical, showed in the film. It made me want to go. I started to make plans to go this spring. In fact, I might have been there right now had I not gotten my current job with the HCBA.
In mid-October, things were starting to grate on me. I didn’t think i could survive another full year in Marshall, so I thought, if I didn’t find another job soon that I’d quit after winter sports season ended and hike the Camino Del Santiago. Well, it didn’t turn out that way.
There’s a little sign on the desk in the den at my parent’s house. It says, “You know those things you’ve always wanted to do? Go do them.” I think about Spain every time I see that sign.
I’ve got my sights set on this fall, September or October. I’d love to see a Barcelona game, maybe walk a little bit of the Camnio (though it may not feel right if I don’t do the whole thing), visit some churches.
I’ve got things I want to do. I should go do them.
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