Phase 2 – Fasten Your Seat belts

Do I hear trumpets? I think I do. We have entered into Phase 2 of de-escalation. And it was time for a ride in the car. Windows open and radio on. It’s like we’re teenagers again. We haven’t driven the car, except to Dr appointments or hospital, since the lockdown began March 14.

Last evening, our Prime Minister Sanchez gave a speech outlining what June will look like, including the final State of Alarm that will run through 21 June. By this time – fingers crossed – all corners of the country will have entered Phase 3. And all power will cede from the Central Government back to the Autonomous Regions. Each of whom will manage their regional mobility and advancement to the new normality on July 1st. At this stage, all of Spain will be open again.

Is it scary? Oh yes. For those of us living in large cities chock full of people living on top of each other – it’s less secure than in a small village or rural area. But we will continue to observe hand washing and mask wearing. This new plan means we will be heading to Galicia some time in July or early August to find our forever home. I can hardly believe it. By that time, we will have been under some form of quarantine for nearly 4 months. If we had known in the beginning how much would happen in that time – and just how long it would be – we wouldn’t have been able to imagine it. But we are nearly at the finish line.

Benimachlet launch pad

Please enjoy the first video of our short drive. I know. It’s stupid. But I don’t really care. Like toddlers taking our first tentative steps, We did it! Now everybody cheer in that over-the-top way parents and grandparents do. Like it’s the most amazing thing we’ve ever achieved. Because right now it sure feels that way! Cheers.

The most beautiful parking lot from the Bauhaus in Burjassot

We didn’t go to the country side. We will save that for another day. Jeff felt like we should drive familiar territory. We’ll go further afield this weekend. Our location for the first trip post-pandemic? The Bauhaus home improvement store in Burjassot. We both dressed up for the occasion and were there not long after they opened their doors – stocking up on all the supplies we had put off buying on Amazon so we could do our bit for the local economy. I bought a few paint supplies and looked at herbs.

Afterwards we sat down at a table in the parking lot outside their in-store cafe and enjoyed a cafe con leche. The coffee and the view were as sweet as it gets. We were finally somewhere other than a grocery store or el Chino within 1 km of our apartment. I was smiling so hard you could almost see it through my home made mask!

I came home and felt inspired. I purchased the grout sealant for my mosaic table experiment so I promptly made sure that was done. And then I decided it was time to paint something. It’s been awhile. A long time ago I painted a multi-layered cityscape to practice layering paint and texture. I never liked it, so before the pandemic hit I’d painted the canvas white. Just waiting for inspiration. Today was that day.

I call this ‘2020’. If you were here you could see the city poking through the paint in the background. But the photo doesn’t render it well. This year has been a bit of a dumpster fire. The green contagion. The explosions demanding racial equality and justice for all. And rightly so. At first glance, it appears to be rather scary. But if you look at the painting from a certain angle you can see it shimmers in the light from flecks of gold. There is good in this year, if we search for it.

I truly believe that 2020 is exactly what it says. A time for clear vision. It’s the year we see things as they truly are. Not as we wish them to be. The scales are falling from our eyes and the truth is painful. But we must see it if we are to create a future that includes all of us – equally. Change is scary. But the future we want to create starts with breaking down what came before – and imagining what comes after, without limits. So while this painting looks intimidating, it’s actually full of hope that we’ll use this moment and not let it slip away, like so many before.

Now that we’re in Phase 2 in Valencia, I’m already imagining Phase 3. And then the New Normality just beyond the tips of our fingers. July will be a sweet month. I truly hope it will be full of possibility, and healing, for us all.