Gran Canaria

I remember sitting at a wooden picnic table on the tiled back patio of a small yellow clay house. The house had a staircase that hugged one of the outside walls and led up to the flat roof, where laundry was hung to dry. From my seat at the picnic table, I could see over the edge of a daunting cliff. In the valley below, there were acres and acres of land dotted with trees and shrubs that I had never seen before. There was no fence at the edge of the property to separate us from the cliff’s edge. At the table, I sat and molded rainbow colored blocks of clay into shapes while my mom did crossword puzzles and Rafael and Elena read the newspaper. My dad and brother had left to walk to church. It must have been a Sunday. The two of them returned early with Rafael and Elena’s dog at their heels because the dog had followed them all the way through the village to the entrance of the church. Back at home in our New York City suburb, we couldn’t walk to church or anywhere else. Here, everything was walkable.