(I took a nice photo to put here. Blogger does not allow me to post it. I do not know why.)
Yet again it´s San Isidro day, and yet again the entire village carried our San Isidro statue out to the fields for an annual blessing. José says the crops are coming along beautifully, despite unseasonably cold nights -- the long days of rain have trumped the cold, if you don´t count all the fruit crops lost when the blossoms froze.
San Isidro is a tough cookie. You gotta be tough, if you are the patron saint of people as hard-to-please as farmers, laborers, and Madrileños! Our statue makes him look pretty girly, but during his life he got his jobs done and fed the poor and made it to church every day as well... and he was married to a saint, too! He had an angelic work crew helping out, but hey... sainthood´s got to have some benefits.
But in Moratinos, after the blessing and an ExpressMass (Don Santiago had five such Masses and crop-blessings today) we all had a big get-together in the ayuntamiento, with olives and bread, cold cuts, German weisswurst sausage and sweet mustard from Martina and Daniel, pizzas from Albergue San Bruno, as well as the usual hot tortillas españoles for the not-quite-so-international palates that abound around here. Several lucky pilgrims got their fill, too, and at least three decided to stay at Bruno´s to soak up even more local color. This is Nestor, one of the French pilgrims. He volunteered to mow all the grass in the prado.
(Blogger will not allow me to upload Nestor´s picture. Suffice to say he is a genial donkey. I will add his photo when I can.)
This celebration happens every year, and every year I think it gets more collegial and merry -- even though few of us are professional farmers any more.
(A picture of happy people round the table should go here.)
And at the end of the day, whilst showing some pilgrims round the bodegas, my faith in San Isidro was called into question. "Cover your garden beds, bring in your budding flowers," Milagros warned me. "The TV´s posted a four-snowflake yellow frost alert for overnight!"
So out come the feed bags and fleece and milk cartons cut in half... Jeez. Bring in the donkey from the field... It´s time to get on the stick, Sid.