It was 2012 and I had just gotten out of class while living in Granada, Spain. I was tired and ready to get home and relax. As I was walking home, I noticed all the people in the streets making it impossible to move. When I saw why, I started to nudge my way past people; It was one of those float parades that, although beautiful, I had seen several of them in my time there.
These floats were made to look like different saints being carried on palanquins. If you want to experience the beauty of these, the best time to visit is Semana Santa or “Holy Week” (around Mar 24, – Mar 31). Because this was after that, my tiredness outweighed wanting to see the beauty of something I believed had already witnessed. (keyword being believed).
When I finally did get home after shimmying my way through the streets, I came home to my aunt Diana looking out over the balcony with my four-year-old twin cousins Madi and Cabell. To me, this was unusual because I felt like I hadn’t seen her be this into watching them before, and the fact that she was a native. My aunt grew up in Sevilla and had been living in Granada for some time, so I’m sure she had seen several of these elaborate parades. Why was she so interested in this one?
I didn’t even need to ask before I got my answer. “This parade only happens every hundred years.” She said as she noticed I was observing them. I froze. I now felt awful that I had been rushing to get home, probably offending many people in the process, not understanding the gravity of what I was witnessing.
As I was reminiscing about this memory, I thought about several things. I first thought about Madi and Cabell, being so young at the time, are not likely to remember this event or witness it again in their lifetime. I started searching the internet trying to see if I could find any information on this parade so I could share the name of it and learn more about it. My search had no luck. After that I decided to send a message to my uncle Cabell to see if he or Diana remembered this, and if they could tell me what it was called. Then my thinking became philosophical.
What if my aunt was being funny after seeing me rush home from the balcony? (she did have a sharp sense of humor). The thought that there was no centennial event crossed my mind, how embarrassing right? I wish I could have connected those dots before messaging my uncle. In the end, though, I realized no matter what the outcome, I learned a valuable lesson. (And my uncle may have gotten a good laugh after some confusion).
It didn’t matter if what I was seeing happened every hundred years or every day. I was in Spain and got to see the beauty of a different culture, way of life, architecture, and landscape. That right there is what I was taking for granted. Like me thinking about how my cousins wouldn’t see this parade again in their lifetime, many people will never visit another country in their lifetime. I am even more grateful and forever will be, for my time there. I wish I had taken more pictures, written more about my time, and was more grateful for the people I met and getting to live there in general. However, I will return to Spain, and see many other countries. When I do, I know now I will not take my time there for granted.
For things to see in Spain or anything else please reach out, I would love to hear from you!