The not-so-new Puente Nuevo, Ronda, Spain

The New Bridge, Ronda, Spain
Puente Nuevo, Ronda 2016.

A deep canyon, that runs like a scar through the city.

The sun is warm on my back. I sit on the edge, cross-legged with one knee overhanging the gorge listening to the music. The strings are held across electricity pylons, like a low metallic double base. Water smashes down onto the river below, the constant rhythmic percussion. Dogs bark, out of time. Birds chirp. The smartphone taking a photograph of the bridge does so with a fake shutter snap. The selfie stick is held out again. Lips are peeled back. Snap pretends the phone.

The New Bridge, Ronda, Spain
Sketchbook, Ronda 2016.

The leaves and grasses dance, whilst the cacti, who despite wearing daring pink flowers, pretend not to want to be involved. Everyone has their role. The stray wisps of my hair, having made their escape from my ponytail want to join in. The bright Spanish flag doesn’t hold back. It’s flying high above all else, yellow against a bright blue sky.

It’s a powerful sight. I lean back as I write, terrified of tipping over the edge, gripping my notebook and keep my feet grounded in my impractical dolly shoes. I’d look a fool walking back across town with only one shoe.

People in red, brown and grey jumpers, or coats (I cannot tell), up on the bridge, stare into the distance behind me. They see the layers of green. The white farm houses in the foreground. The low mountains on the horizon. I imagine for many of them the broad open landscape is rather different to the cities and towns they normally frequent. I imagine they feel touched by this stunning site. The simple nature. The evidence of a steady history of human existence.

I worry about the overweight woman already struggling back up the winding path. Her arms flail. I wonder what the man being gripped by his lover in four-inch heeled boots thinks of her footwear choice. The cobbles poke through my thin soled shoes, next time I’d be better with my boots.

Minor problems.

Conversation around me is quiet, steady, calm. There’s no anxiety here. No anger, no raised voices. No roaring traffic. No urgency, no tantrums.

Such a landscape has a way of shifting perspectives.