At around 5 o'clock this afternoon, a misty mysterious light filled the valley surrounding our village .
My fourteen year old neighbor Angel (pronounced Aangh-hel) had just asked me if he could put his baby rabbit beside my wood stove. He's dying of cold he told me. Of course I replied. Joni, his cousin, sheepishly stopped firing pellets at my pink flamingo garden sculpture. He had temporarily tied it to the almond tree!
Aangh-hel disappeared into his dads chicken run and came back carrying the tiniest bundle of white fur.
It was stone cold.
I think it's dead.
I put an old towel on top of the newly lighted wood stove, then 10 year old Adrian joined us in the kitchen. Joni, having taken the flamingo out of the tree,continued to enjoy firing at anything metal. He's 17. Then Merche arrived. She's my cleaning angel, cousin of Aangh-hel, also cousin of Joni. She'd come to finish a little bit of painting she started the other day, the day I went to the curandera (the healer).
'Put it (the rabbit) next to your skin,' Merche says, 'under your shirt, not on the wood stove.'
Aangh-hel raises his jacket.
'It's dead.' she says.
'No it’s not.' says the 14 year old.
The baby rabbit disappears under layers of clothing. Joni knocks on the door.
'Your dad wants you. Hurry.'
Can we make brownies Adrian asks. 'Ok,' I say, 'actually I was just about to make them.'
Adrian loves to cook and loves to eat. We start to make the brownies. Meanwhile Merche paints the patches where the rain flooded in last weekend then joins us in the kitchen.
She shows Adrian photos of her wonderful adventure yesterday, to which I was invited, but didn't go.. With a friend and 4 children ( including her own 5 year old son) she hiked towards the semi derelict village of Bargis, clambering over the almond blossom clad mountainside to a special, secret location There they made a fire and cooked chicken, pork and sausages.. They climbed trees, told stories, played cards, and came home six hours later exhausted but happy. Merche talks to Adrian about the adventure with great respect, as if he were an adult.
Aangh-hel slides back into the kitchen. 'He's alive.' he tells us, grinning, his eyes bright.. 'My dad’s got him by the fire. He's Ok.'
Then I notice a misty mysterious light filling then lifting itself above the valley. Merche also notices it and photographs it. ( See last pic).
Since the visit to the healer life feels a little like the mysterious changing light outside.
|Photo of Alcázar by Merche.|
At the healers house on Friday I had a feeling of the ‘mysterious’. Well, you wouldn't be there if you didn't believe there’s more to life than work and sex and food and holidays and winning the lottery, would you!.
However, things with her didn't start off too well.. I annoyed her. I arrived 5 minutes late. I sat in her chair, she pointed to the small stool. Despite all of this, there was something mysterious happening, I was certain. sure. When I left, apart from the donation, I gave her a gift of a tiny bag of strong smelling lavender. She loved it. I’ll put it in my wardrobe she said. Bring me more next week.
Why was I late after waiting an hour in my car ,so close to her house ??
Aha !! Well…I would like to explain this to you in Spanish .. because I just learned the perfect Alpujarrenan expression for this today.
Bueno, !estaba tarde porque me cago por la pata abajo, in other words, tenía descompasición por los nervios !!!!
So, I had to go rushing hunting for a bush, which meant I was not there when she opened the door to give me my place- no 4 on the list- remember ? Yikes, she gave me number 20!!
She was very annoyed.
Now I was not going to confess in front of the group of about 16 people assembled all around her in the waiting room, that I'd had to run out of the village to find a bush, extremely urgently, nor could I find the courage to say I’d been sitting there in my car since 6.30am .
No 20! Oh God I thought, I will have to wait all day.
‘You have to be here when I open the door.’she said ( to get your number).
‘Oh '’ I said ‘I didn't realize.’
Then a very kind woman who must have seem me rushing/hobbling round the corner chipped in, and the result was my ticket was changed for no 8. This meant a wait of only 5 hours. As soon as we got our numbers almost everybody disappeared.
Everybody who came out of Pura's shine/healing/ room came out with a smile. Myself included. Apart from what transpired between us which I think needs to be private, she prescribed some herbal medicines, and an ancient practice of putting a slice of prickly pear heated in the oven, on the painful joints.
My 80 year old neighbor Maria told me this is what her mum used to do when she was a girl. My joints feel calmer, my legs feel different. I am still hobbling, but, like the mist this afternoon, I have a sense that something's changing, moving, transforming. Big word transforming.
How? Why? That's the mystery.
Words don't hit the spot, but mystery always does, for me.
|Photo by the multi talented cook photographer writer explorer cleaning angel Merche Martin, this afternoon.|