Our Alchemists

Along the Spain countryside we drive – exploring each lonely road that is rarely traveled.

As I stare out the window I laugh to myself…then out loud. Thinking back the furthest place from southern Spain and Andalusia…I think back to living in Dalton, PA. There, I truly only have one vivid memory. Each morning, myself and my three best friends would wake, meet on the corner of Main Street and North Turnpike, ball in hand and race to the Dalton Courts.

For hours we would play basketball, football, wiffle ball, it didn’t matter. We would compete, we would talk trash, we would be poor losers and we would walk home as the sun would set, discussing our dreams.

We talked about dreams that were never discussed outside our crew. Not sure why, but it was as though those dreams seemed achievable when we were talking together. When we played hoops, 2-on-2 football or our famous wiffle ball 7-game series’ we were simultaneously developing four spirits that pushed limits. We were creating four spirits that loved to shoot the game-winner. We were becoming each other’s alchemists.

As I continue to look out at vineyards, sun drenched hills and the bluest sea my eyes has seen, I continue to reflect in seat 31.

For the last two weeks I’ve been walking through historic churches, mosques and random ally’s at 3am. Yes, it has been full of Instagram poems, late night tapas and early morning coffee but it is also a reminder of what we stood for on the hot blacktop of Dalton, PA.

Ultimately, we stood for curiosity.

We were curious as to what it felt like to make the game winner and would naturally learn what it would be like to miss it as well. We were curious to look over the edge and jump, or maybe choose not to. We were constantly seeking, and we held each other accountable to that path.

Andalusia, the province of southern Spain we are driving in, is also the home to my favorite book, The Alchemist. It is about a young boy named Santiago who never had three best friends but he did have people through his young journey that molded him. They taught him about making decisions, about living with them and of course, about love.

As we pull into Granada, the sun is slowly setting and the fields are turning into a small village, which will become a small city by nightfall, this trip enters her final act. Here, it continues to open my eyes and quench my curiosity, as the base of Dalton, where everything began as a quiet dream among four best friends, still brings a smile to my face.


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