Wednesday, 27 May 2009


Here the fields are full of wheat and wind, the way the ocean is full of ripples and waves. The green is going gold now. It is our annual local miracle. I hope I never lose the ability to see and marvel at this inland sea.

I am very tired. I am coming up to the surface now, I think.

This weekend our house hit capacity, with Kim and Tomas already resident, three people who wanted training to become volunteer hostel-keepers, Paddy, me, and the critters. Then, on foot, came Bob Spenger, an affable California athlete who´s just completed his fourth pilgrimage. He is 84. We told him to stay around, so he did. That made eight.

We had beds and food and drink and good spirits enough to deal with all of them, but I don´t think I want to take on so many again. Not after a month and a half of ongoing hospitality and concrete work.

Every day this week we´ve driven to the train station and reduced our numbers bit by bit.

The South Africans drove away on Monday morning, back to their Camino Cleanup mission. Lillian, a delightful midwife from Florida, took the afternoon train back to her sojourn on the Camino del Norte. Bob stayed another day, and Kathy came then too. Kathy´s been part of the Peaceable since its beginning. Hers is the third name in the guest book. She saw it two weeks after we bought the place, so she´s one of a few who´s watched it develop. A great friend, Kathy. I hope she comes back in September, and joins me and an English friend who are planning to re-conquer the Camino del Salvador (this time without the snow.) Now that I have an idea of where I am going, I want to do it right this time. No more floundering, no rush, no skipped bits, either. Slow and steady. Applications are being accepted now for this epic expedition.

But all that is far away in the future.

Now, today, there are four more trained people ready to volunteer as hosts on the Camino. An ugly corner of our patio is now turned into level, useable space, a pleasant addition to what retailers call our "outdoor living space." We have a beautiful young Picual olive tree, newly planted in the center of the garden -- a gift from Kathy.

The chicken house has gutters and downspouts now, so the chicks will have much less mud to wade around in when the rain comes back. This healthful improvement may come too late for Blodwyn, who is ailing terribly and inexplicably. I think we may lose her. Veterinarians here don´t treat individual chickens. Neither Paddy nor I knows how to euthanize hens, and we would not have the heart to do it even if we did. And asking a neighbor to whack our chicken may be pushing them a bit far.

Una´s leg is no better. As Tomas would say, "This Una, she is so much a change-ed dog from the past times, Rebekah. Is like I don´t know her no more, she is not noisy, not bluffing so much at birds and Tim, and she´s not much running around ... and these things she like-ed! Poor old lady. I mean Una the poor old lady. But not you Rebekah, listen! You are young still I think."

I am going to miss Tomas and the many twists he gives to English. Tomas is leaving tomorrow, heading back to the unpronounceable Dutch town where he came from, more than a year ago. Kim is going to cry, I think. Those two really like each other.

And so we will be back to three. And Kim says she´s going to start walking again, so maybe we´ll even be two soon.

Imagine that.

Meantime, here are some photos of the people and excitement here. Life is good. Especially after a good siesta.


Gary White said...

What a whirlwind you guys have been through. May the Peaceable be just that for a few days. All is quiet here in Sahagún, what with Elyn sick and me tired and sleeping most of the time. See you soon?

Your Lil Sis - MART said...

Rebekah, I miss you intensely. You are a wonder among the people I know.