For hours and miles it is nothing but dry, yellowed fields of grass, occasional farms and distant, yet slowly approaching mountains that almost hug the sky. Despite it being unusually chilly for late June in Spain, it is serene. I was cursing the humid, sticky weather back home, but here I think I like it. We pass a long, distant castle; protector of the skies, guard dogs of the Spanish countryside. It is incredibly unlike Ireland and yet, I am strangely not homesick.
The next few mornings are hectic and I am continuously vibrating, a robotic battle bee, floating around the scenic La Alberca. I settle in well, meet new people and become part of a summer camp family. It is the most unexpected kinds of people that you will bond with the most. I thought I would eventually be slapped in the face with the mental train wreck that is homesickness. But no. I don’t want to go home. I am almost like a new person out here, with a double dose of manic, colourful crazy energy.
The bell tower chiming is a rhythmic prayer, an hourly lull away from the busyness of camp afternoons with over 90 hyperactive teenagers. I do not yet know whether it is them or I who is crazier.
I think I will miss the quiet moments in the mornings, with only the bell tower chiming for company the most. It is distraction from an otherwise never ending day of bouncing, laughing and constant excitement. Butterflies come and go from my balcony, I can almost hear their tiny morning song.
I think at last I have found peaceful escape. But could I ever truly forget the hectic yet small, rainy and usually chilly Cork? I don’t think so. But for now I will flourish, watching morning sunlight filter through the tree branches, hearing the chirps of new kinds of birds and learning to be a little daring, writing my love letters to Spain.