A Village, A Celebration

La Voz de Galicia – June 15, 2022 →

Cristina PatoIt was a small celebration in a small village. It was held in honor of a saint, in one of those groves with millenary trees that make the summer heat a little more bearable. And probably all of us who were there were related to some degree even though we didn’t even know on whose side.

The bagpiper and tambourine player accompanied the meal; and the empanada, the pig’s ear, the barbeque, and the corn bread filled the village with energy. Then came the dance, also small, with a van that began the evening “playing” the popular classics of any village festivity. Those themes that, as my brother-in-law says, are frozen in time because we have spent all our lives dancing to them and know them because they are only played in village festivities. And there, dancing underneath the chestnut trees, I looked at the oldest women (my mother among them who, like always, did not want to dance). Wearing their Sunday best, they were sitting on the few borrowed chairs there were, and they appeared to be simply happy, looking at people dancing. And then I stopped moving and did the same thing they did: I observed what was happening. And suddenly a burst of immense joy went through me, and it was then that I understood the profound sensation of seeing all your loved ones happy, dancing without a care in the world, present in a present that is impossible not to feel…And for a few minutes, or for a second (truth be told is that I don’t know because I lost sense of time), participating in this other way, I was so happy!

I wish I could remember that a simple celebration in community, put together with love by the neighbors, and without contrivances, can lead one to be in such a beautiful state. I wish I could bottle this feeling to always take it with me and drink it when “thirst” appears…

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