Monday, 23 June 2008

St. John's Eve!!

Just for the record, I am still lost. I should be found again on Wednesday afternoon.

Meantime, everyone ought to know what today is...

Tonight is Midsummer Night's Eve, also called St. John's Eve. St. John is the patron saint of beekeepers. It's a time when the hives are full of honey. The full moon that occurs this month was called the Mead Moon, because honey was fermented to make mead. That's where the word "honeymoon" comes from. Midsummer dew was said to have special healing powers. Women washed their faces in it to make themselves beautiful and young. They skipped naked through the dew to make themselves more fertile. It's a time for lovers. An old Swedish proverb says, "Midsummer Night is not long but it sets many cradles rocking." Midsummer Eve is also known as Herb Evening. Legend says that this is the best night for gathering magical herbs. Supposedly, a special plant flowers only on this night, and the person who picks it can understand the language of the trees. Flowers were placed under a pillow with the hope of important dreams about future lovers. Shakespeare set his play A Midsummer Night's Dream on this night. It tells the story of two young couples who wander into a magical forest outside Athens. In the play, Shakespeare wrote, "The course of true love never did run smooth."

So everyone who is near Moratinos or Terradillos de Templarios needs to stay up extra late tonight, and go over to Villa Oreja, the site of the now-vanished medieval village between the two towns. It's there, in the wee hours and after a few shots of orujo, you will hear the ghostly sound of the Templar knights' horses' hooves passing by! (I wrote about this last year on St. John's Eve.)

Wish I was there. I swear to God one of these years I'm borrowing a horse that night, just for mischief's sake. Even a donkey would do!

But for now I'm hitting the road myself, heading out across the wide-open spaces in search of my lost Self. Or something.

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