Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Poppies and Poo

The weather continues perfect, and poppies and thistles are competing along the roadbanks for the "most vibrant color" prize. Soon the bright blue cornflowers will bloom and blow them all away.

This is when the Spanish light sets in, right now when Summer comes. It is white, but transparent at the same time, and it must sit somewhere near the yellow part of the spectrum because it makes all the primary colors go deep and golden somehow. The shiny green ivy leaves and the ochre walls, lacquered pinewood doors inside the patio, and the shocking white walls out along the streets...and the indigo blue of the sky, with clouds right out of The Simpsons. Suddenly the pilgrim raptures sound true. We do live in a little paradise.

At least until late afternoon.
Just when you start to see heat shimmer down the asphalt, you hear the distant grumble of Paco´s tractor. It´s pitched low, pulling something heavy. And the first little breeze that blows tells everyone in town what he´s doing today.

He´s spreading manure. A black liquid plume follows behind the tank behind his John Deere, and a wave of black odor rolls away and down over the fallow field and into every nook and cranny and nose of Moratinos. Last year it was the rich stale brown smell of cow manure, brought over from the dairy farm in Terradillos. But this year is different. This year it´s the unique perfume of pig shit.

It´s hard to tell if it´s the beautiful flowers or the pungent poo, but something is bringing tears to my eyes.

I think I might get on the 2 o´clock train today and see what´s happening in Madrid.

1 comment:

Kiwi Nomad 2008 said...

You describe the smell so well Rebekah!!!!!!
Thank you for the boiled eggs... they were great to eat on the trail today. I have come as far as El Burgo Ranero, as I had reached the previous village by 11.30. Makes two shorter days to Leon on what promise to be hotter days! My Quebec friends are here also and want to know all about what I did last night after I was whisked away by vehicle!