I just walked in the dark down the road to the labyrinth, trying to settle my Christmas dinner deeper down into my stomach. I am keeping more fit this winter.
I saw a star fall down.
It´s been a very full day. The neighbors came over after Mass for a champagne toast and snacks. A pilgrim was at church, so we brought her home with us. She was alone for Christmas Eve, but not now for Christmas day. She´s from New York City. She doesn’t speak Spanish, but we made her welcome.
We ate an enormous pan of lasagne with fennel seeds in the sauce. Wonderful. (there is no ricotta to be had here, so I subbed-in smashed-up cottage cheese and mascarpone…wow!) Greens from the garden, and some Caldo Gallego from Maria de la Valle. We drank dark red wine from Valdeorras, a gift from Laurie up in O Cebreiro. Joaquin and Luca, Maria and Nancy from New York, Oliver and Paddy and me. Christmas. No presents, but lots of gifts.
It seems a lot more than average numbers of people are sending holiday greetings this year. Times are scary, maybe we feel the need to hug a little closer...
There are some fine people in my life.
We got a tree this year, a plastic one. It is very jolly, it makes me happy.
I am working on a book for AP, another sad and harrowing story. Kim has started production on “Furnace Full of God: Love and Death in a Camino Village,” my newest book.
Paddy is well, considering. He´s had a bad cough for months now, the doctors can´t figure it out so they simply say “wear a scarf,” or “don´t have ice in your gin & tonics.” Paddy is sure this is going to kill him, but he´s been saying that stuff ever since I met him. He is slowing down, and he cannot see so well, and he can´t always hear what´s going on, or maybe he´s just not listening. He is still dearly beloved. He got a beautiful new black hat for Christmas, and he won an enormous basket of goodies in a lottery draw at the local tavern. What more could he ask for?
Oliver is here with us again this winter. He is a great help to us. The house stays much cleaner when he is around, especially as I am working many hours on manuscripts.
Peaceable Projects is quiet these days since the Ditch Pigs´ big gig in Portugal. I hope in 2019 to get the Memorial Grove better marked, identifiable and accessible. I meet in late January with FICS members who usually know who has pressing projects we can help with.
So there is plenty to do now, and the future is wide open. And this year has been excellent, if a little hard on our hearts… Harry Dog and Jean-Marc Kitty both went off to A Better Place, and left big holes in our household.
I am very privileged. My stomach is full, my house is warm, my neighbors are friendly. I can walk out in the dark alone and watch a star fall, and know I am loved.
Thank you all for making me so very, very rich.