I’ve been away for a while and just arrived back on the island. While I miss Mallorca when I’m away, I’m grateful that when I return I’m able to see a place I love with refreshed eyes.
For the first couple of years I lived here, I thought there were really only two seasons – summer and winter. I wasn’t yet attuned to the subtleties of the changes. Now I feel them. October is my favourite month to be on this island and I always think of it as spring in reverse. Full summer is over and the days are warm, soft and balmy. The sea keeps some of its warmth but it’s cool enough to invigorate. Although the days are often hot, the sun is a little more gentle. The nights are crisper but this means we can sleep and wake up to a morning that makes us want to do something with our day, particularly if a blessed rain has fallen in the night.
We become aware of our need to replenish our energies and to refocus on what gives life meaning for us, especially when it involves our creativity. The thought of work actually becomes exciting.
While I’ve been away, Palma has sprouted a whole new crop of bars, restaurants and shops. Others have given themselves a lick of paint and a new name – attempting to harvest the fruits of this summer’s boom in tourism. Even the Carrefour at Porto Pi has gone somewhat upmarket. It now sports a sushi station that wouldn’t be out of place in Santa Catalina market.
One of the bars I pass by regularly changes what it’s called at least once a year. Each name reflects the demographics of the clientele the owner’s hoping to entice. Up until spring of this year it was called Stockholm. Now it’s a Thai place hoping to appeal to cosmopolitan yachties. Perhaps next year it will have a Martian name.
But, really, all the changes are superficial. What never fails to amaze me is Mallorca’s capacity to stay essentially the same. Whenever I come home I’m reminded that this place feels like no other I’ve been to in the world, Deià in particular.
For me, Deià is special because of the people I’ve known and loved and the friends I still have. I thoroughly enjoy playing my small part in chronicling the cultural history of the village. But, more than anything else, I need to reconnect with the unique, mysterious power of the place, which lies somehow below the sometimes jaw-droppingly beautiful surface. That never goes away.
I’m endlessly grateful that I was brought to this place and I do my best to never take anything for granted. Because, while it’s hard to remember to be truly aware of where one is at any given moment, it’s important to be conscious of our great good fortune in knowing Dieà and Mallorca in the way we do. And for the simple fact that some of us get to experience them for far, far longer than a couple of weeks in the summer.
Being away from the island reminds me of just how much it has shaped my life. And you?