Tuesday, 25 December 2018

Walk in the Dark

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.  


jmcarp said...

I'll say a prayer for Paddy. Feliz Navidad!

Ingrid said...

Blessings to you and yours. Yes we hug closer and longer, for a few moments all is right with the world. Wishing you a peaceful, healthy and full of hugs 2019.

Beth Caporali said...

Much love to you all

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ed Riskosky said...

It sounds like a very Merry Christmas in your household. People with their love and their health issues give us reasons to be thankful and to pray harder. Such is life. Yours is blessed as ours is to be a part of yours even when it’s a small part.

David said...

Reading this makes me remember the warm Christmas days I spent at the peaceable. Warm greetings to all of you.

Amanda Schaffer said...

Holiday greetings to all at Peaceable Kingdom, including the furry family members!

Mrs C said...

I love reading your blog, though we have never met. I can imagine the life we might have had in northern spain if we had remained well enough to make the move. Your words make my heart swell and it touches my soul with bittersweet whats ifs. Vicarious maybe, but treasured all the same. I wish you all well in the year ahead and hope for better health for Paddy. I would thoroughly recommend this for his cough: https://www.rjwhelan.co.nz/conditions/coughs.html if you can get the tinctures (neals yard do ship to europe for a fee). With gratitude and in hopeful expectation for your future posts Mrs C x

Deacon Hutch said...

You write beautifully. I appreciate your writing, after a long Wisconsin winter it makes me long for the warmth of the Camino. Just a couple of more months before I return. I would love to meet you two.

Kiwi Nomad said...

Hi Rebekah, I don't so often think of the Camino these days... but today I 'stumbled' upon you. I was given a very special notebook to write in at Christmas time. The out of town friend who gave it to me couldn't have known that at the time, my backyard was full of tui feeding on flax flowers, and that the pohutukawa tree over the road was in full crimson bloom. But both the tui and the pohutukawa were pictured on the front of the book she gave me. The book needed to find a special use, but what? Then this morning I found something you wrote- I expect it was in your blog if I go back into it- that I had saved. It was about the many holy moments, often in quite ordinary things, and how you keep a diary in which you list them. Ah yes, it struck me, that is what I must use the book for.
This afternoon I will weed the front garden, then plant a new rhododendron, and think of you as I do it. And I am sure God will be there. Margaret