On a weirdly warm New Years Eve, where it was 22 C on the farm (72 in America) we stuck close to home. It’s been months since I could hang three loads of laundry on the line and have it quickly dry in a warm wind. Who would think it was possible in December in Galicia?
Marie Carmen had invited us to her house for dinner, but we were having lunch when we were surprised at her knocking on the door. They have a Covid positive in the immediate family. New Years Eve dinner was cancelled. I was devastated when I heard. Not about the dinner. But a positive, with her husband being so ill? I had seen her just once this last week, in her driveway when I gave her cookies. We were masked and never closer than the hand-off. Either way, its not Marie Carmen who is positive. She insisted on bringing food to us for dinner. She had already started cooking the meat when they found out. She marched through the gate, knocked on the door masked up, then left it. Steamed clams, slow roasted meat, and potatoes from her garden. And it was delicious.
So we had dinner provided by Marie Carmen. Conchi and Fran swung by and left us grapes and a bottle of champagne on the porch. They decided not to risk anything on New Years. Yes, we are all vaccinated with three jabs, but in Melide everyone now knows a current positive. There is fear here. I didn’t even get a chance to ask her about allowing the Pilgrim Community to help out their struggling business. Next week I will go to the restaurant for a chat.
We rang in the New Year without much fanfare. This year I didn’t bake the traditional coin cake. And we didn’t set off fireworks like we would have in the US or Valencia. I made a couple of my own special blend of hot toddies and we watched on TV as those in timezones before us celebrated. We didn’t even open the doors at midnight to let the old year out and the new year in.
For me, New Years is a significant moment. A time of reflection. Of gathering strength for what is to come. For making wishes and writing down plans. Creating a roadmap to follow and lighting a candle with a prayer. The past two years have been filled with curveballs. Roadmaps and wishes have required flexibility and patience. So this year I am keeping it fluid. What we have planned will be filled with roadblocks and the unexpected. U-turns and sharp left turns. It’s unforeseen-ness is totally foreseeable. And I am determined that these last few years will cast no shadow on the one ahead.
This year I pledge to keep my eye on the goal, but be flexible in my methods. And our quiet, unconventional celebration of New Years this year reflects that. Old traditions were retired. Old patterns and old thinking are out of fashion. We are blazing a new trail on a road we have never traveled before. It requires a new mindset and new tools to be successful.
I really do believe that 2022 will be a brighter, more hopeful year for the world. And for us on the farm. And I’m excited to see what comes of it. The fun of doing something you’ve never done before, is in doing something you’ve never done before. Remarkable possibilities are endless. We’ve already been gifted with so many remarkable people in our lives. At my heart I’m an optimist. I’ll hold out for the small, but remarkable, every single time.