We leave Granada on a bus, passing the car dealerships, a junkyard, the small airport outside town. A prop plane is parked by the squatty terminal, the radio tower comically small, like a model train landscape.
We pass through orchards, farm country. Greenhouses pepper the foreground. Delicately tilled rows bear only markers. Adjacent to those are long, parallel lines of sprouts. Shrubs in various shapes, saplings, then waves of trees, the tallest about 20 feet. They stretch, thin clones of one another.
A couple people are talking. The words wash over me like wind, I think of laundry flapping in a breeze.
On the trip down, the sky was deeply overcast. The land felt ominous. This morning, only a few thin clouds span the sky and the countryside bursts. It looks hot outside, even though it’s only about 60. Small shelters dot the fields, harbingers of the summer heat.
In a trailer encampment, everything is non-descript, low to the ground, single-story. The few buildings possess a simple geometry: squares, rectangles, the cylinder of silos. There is an occasional two-story house that looks Italian, with white walls and scalloped roof.
We debark in Antequera Santa Ana and then board a train. The doors close. We seem to hover momentarily as if the driver has released the brake but not stepped on the accelerator yet. And then we take off. I feel the acceleration in my stomach, a heave in my abdomen. The foreground begins to zip by.
We pass an odd assortment of landmarks on the way out of town: a small waterpark, a windmill at a gas station, a house with turrets.
Then, very little, other than hills ringing the horizon and flat expanses of land. There are not even power lines, rhythmically running parallel to the tracks. We pass a handful of roads, only a few paved or lined.
I wonder what night is like here. I imagine the depth of the darkness, enveloping, swaddling. The dirt roads lit by the light of distant galaxies. The sound of the earth at rest.
Another train passes, thundering the air between the cars, jostling me out of reverie.
A flock of about 100 sheep run across a meadow, the way sheep do, a chattering, perpetual nervousness, startled by nothing.
Sometimes there are no words, simply leaning back on the train under the high Spanish sky, clouds thinning in the late morning, the landscape alternating between undulating hills and flat fields.
Perched completely in this moment, I nearly forget about my entire life. A balance beam, a single person dancing.