Love in a world currently dominated by change, it suddenly feels that we are being forced to realise what we should have already known.
While Coronavirus hit us as something of a “delayed surprise”, the deeply saddening death of George Floyd, is the reality check the world needed, in order to make a united stand against racism and bigotry. The horrific scene, showing the final moments of this poor man’s life, remains deep within our minds and hearts. Watching the news, and the global mixed emotions, leave me stunned. So many people peacefully making a statement, so loud, that even the most hideous racist can hear. Of course, there are those who choose to use any situation as an excuse to cause damage. But for now, I concentrate on peace, and hopefully, major positive changes. As for those who use times like these as an excuse for their criminal behaviour, well, I simply don’t have the mind space.
Marbella continues to re-open slowly, and I must say, it has confirmed my suspicions- Spanish people are fantastic. My childhood memories of Ibiza, Marbella and Sotogrande, are filled with smiles. For me, Spain has always been a place driven by its people. Since making it my home last year, I can honestly say, that people are kind, cool, and caring. Of course, there are many who will claim I live through “rosé tinted” glasses, but I feel very welcome in Marbella. A place where people of all nationalities blend together. The glue, being the ever gracious, and smiling Spanish. A nation that manages to be kind, while at the same time passionate. Now, there’s a combination!
Routine continues- I still rise early and run on the beach. Each morning I see more and more people picking rubbish from the sea. Again, as if suddenly, we notice the washed-up plastic on the shore. After months of lockdown, our eyes finally open. Last year, I met a group of Swedes, who introduced me to Plogging- picking up plastic as you jog. Bottom line; want to get fit and help the planet? Go plogging. The chiringuitos are alive with the sound of laughter as the sun sets, and it feels like the staff are extra happy to be back. On Thursday, I had to go grocery shopping, and I made excuses to delay the chore. Strange, as something that used to excite me during lockdown, has somehow become “my thing”. As if somehow, I’ve made it my errand.
Anyhow, I hopped into the golf buggy and headed across the motorway to Supersol in El Rosario. I have the art of shopping down. What used to take almost an hour is now achieved within ten minutes. I left the store to find that the buggy wouldn’t restart. It hadn’t been fully charged before departure. I sat staring at the shopping bags, hoping the Häagen-Dazs wouldn’t melt when out of nowhere, a Spanish guy approached and asked if I needed help. He explained that he was a gardener and uses golf buggies every day. I wasn’t aware that there’s a built-in jumpstart kit. He knew what to do, and within minutes I was eating the ice cream on Playa Los Monteros.
That’s just it, a total stranger, offering help to a total stranger. For no other reason than kindness. While I come from the ‘land of a thousand welcomes’, I can say that I feel Spain to be one of the most welcoming places I have lived. And while summer 2020 may be a slow starter, something tells me it’s going to be fantastic. When you open your eyes, try to see the good in people. Try to always do good for others. See beyond skin colours, sexuality, class. Open your heart, along with your eyes, and trust me, any little things that bug you about the human race, will soon seem pointless.
I dedicate this column to anyone who feels they are in the minority. Remember we are not alone.
Together love conquers all.