Her Heart Is Going Home

by Heather Minette

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She’s smiling so hard her eyes are squinting.Because she’s going, because she’s going, because she’s going! She’s on her tippy toes now.

Where is she going? She’s going where the sky is a blue that can only be described as Barcelona blue. She will drink coffee in plazas at wobbly tables with her hair down and curly and careless because Barcelona is her unconditional and has been since she was lost and found there within her heart when she was nineteen.

At the wobbly tables, she will be writing letters and thoughts, and holding the thin air in her lungs longer, breathing Barcelona. A Spanish boy with a sharp jaw line and messy black hair will ask her for un cigarillo and light it and then ask her where she is from. She will tell him the world and smile, and by her Spanish he will guess she is Venezuelan, and she will shake her head and smile some more. When he leaves, she will be by herself again but not alone. She will be surrounded by characters in her book, old women talking about the weather and children chasing pigeons and a lazy waiter asking her if she needs algo

Where is she going? She’s going to the deep blue of the Mediterranean, that took her breath and heart and tears that afternoon when she was twenty, standing on top of a mountain on la costa brava. The
mountain top where she saw France and breathed in the sea and felt so small and so big all at once. Where she felt like she could reach the sky and sing and God would hear her. The Mediterranean where she lays on the beach and the sand brushes right off and the water is so cold that going in waist deep makes her feel like she’s gutsy.

She’s going where she walks to el café, where she will buy un bocadillo con tortillas de patatas and the man that serves her will call her cariño and she will tell him that’s what she calls her
son. He will talk, his accent will be heavy, she will have a hard time understanding him. He will know and speak slowly and sweetly and make her feel so very young.

She’s going where she will drink canned beer that she buys from the men in the streets after eleven p.m. Where she will go from plaza to plaza, meeting musicians and other wonders, talking and laughing, smoking and
drinking, singing and living. Where she will sit in circles and someone will sing a Dylan song with a Spanish accent and she will smile so hard her eyes squint because she is surrounded by constant reminders that she
is across the world, but her heart is home.

She is going where walking down the street is like seeing a million masterpieces all at once. Where clothes hanging from lines on terraces are a painting not yet painted and looking up at the clouds between the
beautiful buildings is a photograph not yet taken. Where walking down the street is stopping in her tracks and looking around and breathing deeper and thanking God for the overwhelming beauty around her and within her and the freedom of being alive.

Heather Minette is a mother, scholar, writer, errant adventurer. Lost and found, like a scarf in the summertime. Seeker of experience and inspiration. Piano player and a painter, a girl making her own way, the one who always gets away.

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