Hasta mañana by Abba was the first Spanish I ever learned. Later Arnold Schwarzenegger taught me three more words, Hasta la vista, when he threatened to return in the sequel to The Terminator.
For a long time, I didn’t know what Hasta mañana stood for. No, I didn’t figure it out, not even when it stood within the rest of the context.
When I signed up to learn Beginner’s Spanish, I learned that mañana stood for tomorrow. That was an A-ha moment, I can tell you.
Hasta mañana was such a beautiful song. It carried within it the pain of separation tempered with the hope of a reunion. Sure, the cynics say that tomorrow never comes, but when Abba wished to meet again mañana, it felt good. It felt certain somehow.
This was decades before social media, of course. So when people moved apart, often they moved apart for good. It wasn’t always easy to keep in touch. And so, the hope expressed in Hasta Mañana comes across as even more powerful, a sort of fist-in-the-face-of-fate.
Even when confronted with the finality of “Don’t know where, don’t know when,” the song said, “Darling, our love was much too strong to die,” making the “new tomorrow” seem so defiant.
Courage in the face of uncertainty.