It is “Dia de Reyes” (Three Kings Day) in Spain and I knew it wasn’t going to be easy to find a morning coffee on this holiday. I was somehow drawn to a British bar, the “Oasis” in Mijas Pueblo. I have been to the Oasis in the past for their soup in prior travels to the town.
Today I observed that they were abierto (open) as I saw the sign for coffee and brandy for 2.50 Euros. Not particularly excited about the contemplation of rather poor brandy, I wanted the coffee at midday.
For some time I have been thinking about writing about memories and how they can be fleeting should they somehow not be recorded. I have been thinking about this since I have been working on my high school class reunion and it has occurred to me that I have many memories between myself and others that will be forgotten when I and others depart the Earth because nobody recorded them. These memories are really good and deserve a fate better than being dismissed!
It so happened on Dia de Reyes that I enter the Oasis and there at the bar is an older woman. I learned later that her name is Mo.
Mo has a time-worn face and appears to be disheveled. In fact she later told me that she knows she looks this way but doesn’t care. It turns out that Mo is about my age which surprised me since I thought her to be considerably older!
Mo spied me and grabbed a bar stool and said that it was reserved for me as I sat down. Contrary to what I would ordinarily do, I ordered a cappuccino from Jimmy who Mo introduces as the barkeeper.
Engaging me in small talk, Mo asked if I liked the procession through town last evening. Before long she was telling me her story about being from Brighton and having been a ballet dancer married to an astrophysicist. She loved to hike.
Around 1974 she was traveling to Nepal by way of Istanbul to hike in the Himalayas. She stopped en route at the Afghan-Pakistan border. She recalls playing cricket there and showing the locals a thing or two that a woman can compete along with the men. As her eyes welled up with emotion she recalled those times when she and her husband would stay as guests in the homes of the townspeople and how she loved them. She hates what has happened there with the political and war-torn battles over the past decades.
I told her how I have been thinking about memories and the importance of recording them. She said that she understood and agreed that Hemingway, Tolstoy, among many others, had written their stories from a germ of an idea influenced by their memories.
She loves listening to Jimi Hendrix and told me her daughter has been encouraging her to write a book but she really would rather tell her stories to a ghost writer. I hope she decides to do that!
Mo is an example of what I believe each of us has in our lives. For many of us, those memories run the risk of being forgotten. That may be why I write my blog so that a memory is not forgotten but rather is documented so it may influence others to recall their memories or maybe just satisfy myself that I have shared a memory important to me.