I was 21 years old, in the tail end of an eight week stay in Spain, stationed in Granada. My class would often take trips to the beach on the weekends. This was our last weekend and our last trip. At dinner the night before we agreed on a time to meet and a place to go.
I guess I was late. There was no one at the bus station. I did not want to go back to my apartment, so I bought a ticket. Maybe they were on the bus? It was bus number diecisiete. Now, on paper, my Spanish was okay. In my head, it took some time to think it through, and I did not have time. 15? 16? 17?
Fifteen was pulling out. I waved it down. He told me it was the wrong bus. Sixteen was wrong, too. The annoyed number seventeen bus driver took my ticket, and I sat down in the back of the bus. I knew no one. I looked at my stub once more...yes, it was the town agreed upon.
During this hour and a half drive to the beach, it dawned on me that (keep in mind, my Spanish is not so good) I didn't know where dinner was going to be that night. And, since I was ignorantly taking one day at a time, I knew that at dinner we would be told when and where to meet in order to depart to Madrid, where the airplane would take me home sweet home. Therefore, if I did not find my peers, I would not know where to go to dinner, where to meet for the bus to Madrid, and would not be going back home.
Worry never entered my mind. I said a prayer, rode the smoke-filled bus, and exited at a small, empty building. I studied my surroundings, and it seemed to me that the sidewalk that ran next to the empty building may lead to the beach.
It was probably a half of a mile walk to the beach through town. I just kept walking that sidewalk until it ended at a sandy white beach, packed with half- naked bodies. I stood there, looking into the crowd of sunbathers, when my gaze stopped on my group. I walked up, threw out my towel, and began to sunbathe.
And I made it home.
It was no big deal to me then. But tonight, I'm thinking of the white, sandy beach and am overwhelmed with the thought of divine protection.