As I write this post, I am not sitting in the usual spot at my desk, staring out the window through grey sleet. No; today I’m sitting on a porch, in the sun, with a canvas of pure blue sky stretched overhead. I’m writing from the house my family has lived in for 13 years. And while times may be tough, and futures uncertain, I still count myself pretty lucky to call Madrid home.

Because it only takes leaving, and returning, to a place like Madrid to realize how much you miss the little things: Like the rhythm of life, and how it seems to beat to a slower pace here. Like the way elderly couples and friends meet up at the local bar, and take walks to buy fresh bread and the newspaper every morning. Like the sky; this beatuiful, never-ending, impeccable blue sky. Like the late meal times and illogical business hours – if only because it means that folks here take their time for the important stuff, such as lunch. Like the streets which merge from crammed, grandiose avenues to peaceful, cobbled alleyways. Like the way people talk, as if always telling a joke. Like the way people stay up all night, or spend entire afternoons on a terraza, or still walk to their local grocer.

Maybe it’s the sudden surge of vitamin D, or the familial love; but whatever the reason, I’m certainly happy to see you again, Madrid.

(*The photo shown was taken at Taberna La Dolores: a traditional Madrileño bar covered in beautiful, old tiling, and offering delicious Spanish food that’s perfect for sharing.)

[Photo credit: Carmen Gonzalez]