A Summer Afternoon

La Voz de Galicia – August 6,2021 →

Cristina PatoThe four of us–Maruxa, Yoly, Bimba (the affectionate little dog who makes us all laugh), and I–went for a walk. It was not yet six o’clock, but in this atypical summer when it is not very hot in Ourense, one may go out for a walk at almost any time. We went down a particular path to greet my neighbor, and Bimba, as always, went into the kitchen to see if there was some prize for her today. And there was–Dosia, with a smile on her face and a sausage in her hand came out to say hello, first to Bimba and then to us. «Are you going for a walk?» she asked. «We are,» I responded, and without saying much more than that the five of us walked out: Maruxa, Yoly, Dosia, Bimba and Cris.

We kept to the shade because even though it was not hot, the sun hits hard when it comes out. And we took a generous turn around town, but of course, at my mother’s pace, which is like joining the procession of the Virgin of Fátima. On the way, we encountered five neighbors with whom we stopped to chat, and with eight dogs as well, among them a great, friendly dog who always appears around every corner when I go out with Bimba. And when we returned, around eight in the evening, we were all ready to tackle the next chapter of the day: to each, her own particular activity.

Towards nightfall, in the kitchen, Maruxa fried some of the peppers my neighbor had given us while Yoly continued to be absorbed by the novel she was reading. And outside in the garden, Xan struggled with the irrigation system that, for some reason, always has a leak somewhere; while I, amazed and looking at nothing in particular, with Bimba asleep at my feet, thought about how fortunate I was to have been able to have such a beautiful afternoon. With time, one learns that happiness is precisely this: to be thus, at peace, enjoying your loved ones during a summer’s day.

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