I had this dream a couple of months ago. I was standing on top of a plateau surveying the entire landscape below. It was as if I had reached a summit. The sun was straight up above. And I was smiling, but really smiling, because I was so, so happy.
Listen. I don’t usually have dreams like this. I don’t usually remember them. But this one stuck with me. Like I was thinking about it all the time. I had to get to that summit. Had to get to the sun.
And a couple of days ago I was there.
Nothing ever happens when you expect it to. I flew to Argentina on a whim. I took a bus to Córdoba at the last minute. I met up with a friend whom I hadn’t seen in four years. We went to the Sierra because I mentioned it offhand and from there it was inevitable that we would go. This is how things happen to me. One minute I have no idea what I’m doing, and the next I’m on top of a mountain.
We went to this secret beach tucked back in a valley. You have to climb a small mountain to get there. Then take a trail down the hillside. There was a little girl there. 4 years old. Paloma. Also, horses. And a boat and two boys who rowed the boat up the river to nowhere.
Later, to the summit (different day), and alongside the river (after).
There isn’t time to process things when you’re hiking up mountains in Argentina. Things that seemed obvious before begin to seem very far away. Things that didn’t even occur to you before suddenly seem possible. How to explain it? Like anything could happen. You could be nowhere or you could be everywhere. I started to say that I felt like I was at the other end of the world, but then I realized that literally I was.
On the beach, the rocks.
On the mountain, the sun.
Sand all on the floor of the car, like long days of summer when you drive home.
Riding in the car, you feel like you are flying. You can look up at the sun roof and see the stars. It’s night. You can see the moon. It’s about to be an eclipse. You look up and everything you see if stars.
All of this is real.
Sometimes I make things up but all of this is real.
Nothing ever happens when you expect it to. One day you could be at your desk in DC, and the next you could be stopped on the side of the road in the middle of Córdoba, everything pitch black except the insatiable moon and the hundreds of stars.
I can’t stop thinking about this. The beach, the mountain, the sun, the stars.
Te acuerdas de … ?
During my flight back, the flight attendant saw me smiling and said jokingly, “What are you so happy about?”
Ha. Everything. Because I love this. I love it all.