I needed time to breathe. I needed time alone. But mostly, I needed poetry. I had an aching need for beauty. I took myself out on a little adventure, and went to Parque El Retiro (retiro means retirement). This park is East of Madrid, and a place I may post about multiple times. This time around I visited two particular spots: the rose garden and the crystal palace.
I sat by a little fountain, surrounded by vibrant, sweet smelling roses of all colors. These “Jardines del Buen Retiro” were declared artistic and historic gardens on February 8th, 1935. I saw a man gently pull a rose to his lady’s nose and heard her delighted sigh. My smile was kindly returned. They were a younger version of an elderly couple that walked toward the hospital, linking arms. I thought of all the other elderly couples I have seen in Alcobendas, holding hands.
I walked around the rose garden feeling like Alice in Wonderland, picturing myself in her blue dress. I had no purpose being there. I was there, and that was it. I sat on a bench, and had a little picnic. I absorbed the beauty I had craved so incessantly. Then I moved on to El Palacio de Cristal.
El Palacio de Cristal was built in 1887. A dreamy structure that expanded my writer’s imagination, making me think of great lines spoken by great characters. This place is a photographer’s dream scene. I took pictures of the outside as seen through the crystal walls. I watched friends and family sitting under luscious trees through the motionless crystal walls. The leaves are changing colors. This was the first gray day since I have been here. I am oddly fond of gray days like this one.
Later on I met up with my friend, Mia, and we walked from the park to the city center for a churros dinner. This wonderful Sunday came right after my lazy Saturday, which I spent in bed doing nothing productive at all. I blamed it on the pain I felt in my ankles after frantically running down a steep hill so I would not miss the bus. But maybe that story belongs in another post.