Antes de la peluca y la casaca
fueron los rios, rios arteriales,
fueron las cordilleras, en cuya onda raida
el condor o la nieve parecian inmoviles:
fue la humedad y la espesura, el trueno
sin nombre todavia, las pampas planetarias.
Pablo Neruda, “Amor América”
Con sombrero de ala ancha
y un clavel en la solapa
un Don Juan se hizo a la mar
con la tierra a sus espaldas
la aventura en su mirada
su guitarra y un cantar.
Mocedades, “La Otra España”
His serene, overconfident expression reveals no fear.
He is captivated.
He comes from a long line of antecedents who did just that very thing, fearlessly and daringly. Just like he, they knew not what lay ahead.
Jungles, mighty rivers, glacial ridges, heavenly paradises. Buenas vistas. Lomas lindas. Océanos pacíficos. Sierras nevadas.
He sets his sights upon the undiscovered –or so he thinks it.
He looks to the cool, misty breezes and the dark, inviting wood, and he knows he must explore. Our people are explorers; world travelers who discover, love and plunder. Such is the heritage of our lives.
He may be missing his armor and his boot full of wine, and colorful beads to trade in for the fabled gold. Humbly scaling without a rope in nothing but a loincloth of sorts, he valiantly ploughs ahead.
Vicissitudes are many. The gamble is great. He suffers many a fall. His mother wrings her hands; she suffers. He cries. They nourish his thirst for adventure in an ageless ritual; he regains his bravado, and he finally attains.
Life is changed forever.
My young Conquistador has climbed his first flight of stairs.