“I like the “edge season” my husband, Peter, said, as we watched the moon rise over the mountains and felt a chill breeze rise with it. As far as I know, Peter invented this expression. He might have meant the “season’s end,” but I like the idea of the “season’s edge” better.
Peter and I are staying in the south of Spain and, even here, the season is changing. Restaurants that have been open all summer and fall are finally giving their employees a few days off. Menus are changing, hours are shortening, outdoor tables are now used only during the day and only on days that are sunny. Clouds suddenly appear over the mountains and the diners scatter, looking for somewhere cozy indoors.
And I agree with Peter — I like it.
Peter and I took a bus inland to Granada this week and it was cooler than on the coast. I brought along fancy boots and a skirt and ditched them both after I realized the cobblestones were murder on my feet. I was not willing to make a fashion statement at the expense of my feet. Would I have been willing to do that a few years ago, I wondered? Probably. Perhaps this is a change that has come in my own “edge season.”
I still feel the familiar pull of, “I should really do that,” or, “not everyone gets a chance to do this,” and feel a sense of obligation to chase after some sight or activity and, while I do make an effort not to be a stick-in-the-mud, I can’t help but notice how wonderful it feels to simply be where I want, doing what I please.
When I was younger, I was obsessed with the idea of missing out. I could barely stand to be in one place, thinking of all the other places I could be at the same time. The idea of taking a nap was preposterous. The idea of missing an opportunity, too painful to contemplate.
Things are different now.
After Peter and I toured the Alhambra palace in Granada, we came home and took a nap. Instead of imagining all the sights I was not seeing, all the memories I would not have, I thought about all the amazing things I had seen that day. I replayed them in my head and drifted off to sleep.
Later, Peter and I headed out (in practical shoes) and had a kind of very strong Moroccan tea I had never tasted and a delicious crepe. We sat on ornate cushions covered with tassels and sequins, with glittering lanterns overhead, and watched two college girls busy with their phones and their hair.
“Would you take a photo of us?” I asked the students in badly fractured Spanish, “I’m terrible at selfies.”
The young woman with the larger volume of hair cheerfully agreed and took several photos of us; me grinning broadly (as I do) and Peter looking a tad on edge (as he does).
I wondered what these two young women would do in their lives; if they would stay in Granada or travel the world. I wondered if they ever worried they were missing out when they already lived in such an interesting place.
And then I thought how grateful I was to be exactly where I was in my life; dressed in practical shoes with nowhere I wanted to be other than exactly where I was.
I took Peter’s hand. “I’m very happy to be here with you,” I told him.
“This is great tea,” Peter said.