Signs of Don Quixote

From dust and gold to green, dust and gold, that was the transformation of the Spanish landscape between Madrid (central Spain) and Granada (southern Spain), or, as they say, from Castilla to Andalusia. Accompanying the change in colors was the change in terrain, from flat to mountainous and the sudden appearance of olive plantations the closer we got to the Mediterranean.

Ever since we sped by modern wind farms while riding the high-speed train between Barcelona and Madrid, I had been thinking of Don Quixote, the delusional old gentleman of the novel by Miguel Cervantes, who imagined he had rescued a “maiden in distress,” rode a bony nag and fought fierce battles against windmills.

Seeing the contemporary windmills made me want to visit La Mancha, Don Quixote’s home, though I had no idea where in Spain to find it. Happily, we learned that La Mancha, antiquated windmills and all, was on our bus’s route south and we had a chance to see what this classic literary figure pitted himself against in battle.

Two days later, we passed by another wind farm, this time at a slower speed. These electricity -producing wind machines were every bit as beautiful as their centuries old, grain-grinding counterparts. The movement of their blades was balletic, and when two windmills near each other were in sync, it was as if we were witnessing a pas de deux. Don Quixote’s memory lives on in a newer, gentler form.



About stillalife

I retired June 30, 2010 after working for 40 years in the field of education and most recently doing school public relations/community outreach in a mid-size urban school district. I wrote for superintendents and school board members. Now I'm writing for me and I hope for you. In this blog, I offer my own views coupled with the latest research on how to preserve our physical and mental health as we age, delve into issues most of us over 50 can relate to like noticing wrinkles and forgetting where we left our keys, discuss the pros and cons of different ways to engage our minds and bodies after we leave the workplace, and throw in an occasional book review, all peppered with a touch of humor, irony, and just plain silliness. Also, I'm on the third draft of my second novel since retirement.
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1 Response to Signs of Don Quixote

  1. I’ll take the old windmills any day over those skeletal modern-day counterparts. I too thought a lot about the adventurer of old as the train whipped us through the countryside you’ve described above. Glad you are enjoying the trip.

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