Moving day is just around the corner! We’re excited to settle into our new house, thrilled that we’ll soon be able to call Altea home, and relieved that we’ll be taking the first steps down our own path. How great it feels to finally be able to focus on the future especially because, for a while, it felt as though we couldn’t escape from the past. The fact that the restaurant project with David’s dad didn’t work out quite as we had hoped had filled us with disappointment and it took most of the Summer to come to terms with how things had panned out. But we have officially put the regret of Al Cante behind us and have wholly turned our attention to the future.
But last night, I found myself in a setting that felt too familiar and too reminiscent of the many Summer evenings we had spent at Al Cante. Familiar faces surrounded us, David’s dad’s voice and music filled the air once more, and my hands automatically came together to accentuate the rhythm of the music with the clapping of the Palmas. We weren’t at Al Cante, but we were at the restaurant/bar right underneath where David’s dad lives. Apparently, just as we are moving on, David’s dad is too – with his next business venture. In pursuit of his dreams, he has partnered with a friend and he’s trying it again, even if it’s in a location that only months ago, he, himself, was telling us doesn’t work. And yesterday was the official opening day.
We had been witness to the rise and fall of Al Cante. It was short-lived, but it represented David’s dad’s attempt to bring his dream to consciousness, to relive his glory days and once again command the attention and admiration of an apt audience with the lilts and tilts of his voice – in a place that he could call his own. And though it had seemed as though his dream had been laid to rest – at least for the time being – apparently it was still alive and kicking, transported to a new part of town.
So, last night, as we listened to David’s dad sing, I couldn’t help but contemplate how life has come full circle, completed a full cycle and returned to a point that looks very similar to that of a mere several months ago – so similar in fact that David’s dad even hinted that the business needs a chef like David. I fear the fate of this new business. And I hope, though the odds seem to be stacked high, that David’s dad’s song and his music can bring this business to life and finally make his dream come true.
And though I try to withhold my judgment, it makes me wonder if David’s dad learned anything from the fall of Al Cante. Not all failures are negative as many positive lessons could have been taken from that experience. But the time between ventures seems too short for him to have taken any lessons to heart. And, even if he did, the winter months that promise few customers might be too long.
And, as I think about the irony in the fact that we arrived and are now leaving Torrevieja under very similar circumstances, I realize that, sometimes, it’s OK to dwell on the past – as long as it’s not for too long – because looking backwards is sometimes a prerequisite to being able to move forward. Sometimes it’s only by remembering the past that we can learn from the past. And, oftentimes, it’s only by learning from the past that we can correct our course and steer our way to a better future.