I was on my 10th week in Madrid. Yes, the blues getting in the way this early in the morning. Coffee in hand, I’d find myself looking out the window. As I allowed homesickness to creep in, various morning activities are framed behind the glass windows. You could almost hear the beans grinding, smell the coffee brewing, silvers clinking to make those bocadillos (sandwiches), and feel those hurried daddy hugs as toddlers see them off to the door.


But this one’s different. In one of those window frames, I find this cat. Across the space between us, we looked at each other. He must have been busy watching others beating the “morning rush” from his window. As I was. It’s interesting how many of them do nearly the same thing at the same time every morn.


By the time I boarded the train for another one of those day trips, I was still thinking of the kitty…..when I spotted something unusual on the train floor. Lying asleep was this young man’s best friend. Both buddies in dreamland. They looked tired. They were still doing their REM when I passed them to disembark.





What a sweet life? These animals live without the complications humans have. No budgets to keep. No compulsion to inventory for future needs. They hunt or get only for their daily needs. If they do store for a rainy day, it is for their own consumption. Not for business. Unlike humans who love to enrich themselves. I wonder. Do they feel envy? Is there a rich dog or a poor cat? Or would those adjectives apply only to their masters? And if there is a rich dog, does he flaunt his wealth the way some humans do?


In Alcala de Henares, I spent a whole morning munching through a whole bocadillo, nipping on thin manchego shavings, sipping my cafe con leche while watching the storks busily minding their nests. The whole episode gave me a stiff neck, looking up much of the time. But my snooping exposed me to a valuable lesson in life.






The storks here in Alcala de Henares, a university town just a few minutes train ride from Madrid, is a whole community. Their nests differ only in location (some high up atop spires, others in lower arched windows, still others in between steel bars of a crane) but never much in terms of size.
Almost uniform in height and width, the nestlings look uncomplaining and comfortable. Mom and Dad storks fly in and out, presumably with something to feed their young. Some simply standing by, looking like they’re waiting for the first nestling to attempt a first flight. As they wait, they don’t seem to mind much else. How can they stay perched on a ledge for hours on end?






Patience. Many of us struggle to tame our temper. I am not sure about this. Nor do I have the proper academic background to draw any conclusions. But obviously, humans can pick up a few lessons on temper management here.

This is my entry to the Weekly Photo Challenge: Unique.