Following the Light

Our morning included a trip the HULA (Hospital Universitario Lucas Augusti) in Lugo and the second Covid vaccine dose for me. In a short time we are all now experts on how to play our part in a mass vaccination scheme.

No one in my group had any patience for the chatty guy who was jabbering to the cute line monitor, distracting her from feeding us all into our slots to get into a vaccination cube. It made me laugh. Usually I’m the impatient one in a queue. But today, I had nothing but time to wait for my next appointment for tests a few floors down. It could take as long as it needed to.

The nurse who gave me the blessed second jab had a different methodology. The first guy stuck it in my arm and pressed the plunger. It was over in two seconds. This woman took her time, slowly edging the vaccine into my arm. The first time my arm hurt pretty bad. The second time the arm pain it isn’t half as bad. Thank you, caring HULA lady.

The symptoms are getting stronger, so it will be an interesting few days here on the farm. It’s appropriate that today is the Fiesta de San Juan (San Xoan). It’s celebrated all over Spain, and Galicia is no different. Commemorating the feast of St John with sardines and all night beach bonfires to mark the occasion. When we lived in Valencia, Valencian beaches were lit up and packed with crowds on this night, in pre-Covid days. This year, as last, no beach bonfires are allowed. In our area of Lugo, only private ones will be legal.

Thousands of people often swim in the sea at midnight. To cleanse their bodies and souls. Or jump over the bon fire three times to wash away sin, gathering three wishes. And to invoke a fresh start and good luck for the next 12 months. Magical things are supposed to be visible after spending the night on the beach with family and friends. Fairies and mythical creatures. But that might just be the pot you can smell up and down the sand.

For me, San Juan is particularly poignant this year. It celebrates the day when there is more light than dark in the Northern Hemisphere. Symbolically, that there is more good than evil in this world. And that, with patience and perseverance, good will always triumph. I like the sound of that. A reminder that as the world is digging out of a long Covid night, we just need to wait for the dawn, and follow the light.