From the garden out back you can see the landscape to the west, beyond the mimosa trees and the chicken hut and the wall that breaks the wind.
I started installing the irrigation out there today, the water hoses that make veggies grow all summer. Nothing like putting in a water system to make the sky open up, except maybe washing a car.
I never wash the car, but my neighbours do. They are why these fields out beyond the wall are bright lime green. They wash their cars, they spread fertilizer on the heavy clay ground, and they put seeds down at the same time. The combination works its April magic. All the way to Sahagun the ground is covered in a quilt, its patches made of every shade of green. And the sky, so clear and blue all day, week, and month, this afternoon as gray as gunmetal, but with the fields still in full sunlight in the foreground. There´s a rainbow out there somewhere, you just know it.
Paddy is painting a version on the patio wall. We are working outdoors in the long daylight hours, planting things, putting out the patio furniture, sunning ourselves and petting dog-heads. Bruno is open, so we see few pilgrims now.
I contemplate Enough. That this little life, lived pretty much in this little corner of this little town, is enough for me.
I am ambitious. I want more, I want to change things, make them better. I want to have friends I can meet for coffee and hang out with. I want to speak Spanish really well. I want to write more and better books. I want to be important and respected, but I also want to disappear, I want to be happy in my semi alone-ness. I want all the seeds I plant to germinate, and grow on, and produce beautiful fruit. I want people to come here and help us eat them, but I don´t want them to stay too long.
Things do not work out. Maybe half the things I start ever come to anything. My favourite cousin on Dad´s side died three years ago, and now the favourite cousin on Mom´s side is having radiation treatments. People are sometimes friendly to me, but I do not make the next move to turn them into friends... most of them speak only Spanish, and Spanish is exhausting to me after a couple of hours. I will never get Spanish.
I do have Malin. We went horse-riding on Saturday, to celebrate my birthday. I was involved in a minor collision, I hit the ground pretty hard. I am getting too old for riding, I think. I cannot afford to feel so beat-up, this many days later. It´s encouraging, though, to hear Malin and her English friends speaking Spanish. They´ve lived here a long time, too, and their Spanish is not so great, either.
So things are somewhat sad-making, if I let them be. But then I pet a dog-head in the sunny patio, and I see the swallow dive through the barn-door. The swallows came back early this year, on my birthday. I spent Sunday at O´Cebreiro with Laurie, a woman I have admired for years. She is full of history and wisdom, her house is beautiful, she has a wonderful scruffy dog she bought from a beggar, she lives alone and she lives very well. She gave me a great armload of hydrangea cuttings which I am planting in my patio, I do hope they will grow!
I hope for half. Even half a hydrangea is pretty spectacular. Half a hydrangea, and a gun-metal sky behind a mimosa tree, and a dog-head that needs a scratch.
That oughtta be enough for anybody.