As we neared the restaurant, fate met us on our way, taking the shape of José da Cruz and Joaquim, two villagers born and raised in Sobral Pichorro. And so, we had the most incredible guided tour of the building, for Joaquim the lagar where his dad worked all his life, and he as well during adolescence. For Zé da Cruz, a trip to his childhood days, in a reality which we, born close to the new millennium, almost won’t believe to be true.
Who can claim more fame and praise for their “talking” (i.e., acoustic communication) other than songbirds, with their beautiful and complex songs? This, which is such a telltale sign of the arrival of spring, delights us and inspires art and poetry.
I step out the door. The sun is hot, bright, facing me as I face it and greet it good morning. There is a strong breeze blowing, reminding me of the ending of winter. Two dogs greet me, wagging their tails happily and lazily as they bask in the morning light. Their fur is soft and very warm. After weeks of grey overcast, it’s stunning how this sunny day can lift up my mood. I feel energised, light, social, happy.
The Daycare Centre of the village, which is run by ALASP (Association for the League of Friends of Sobral Pichorro), is made up of the most loving people, that every day are in charge of cooking the meals for the older inhabitants, delivering them to their homes, cleaning their houses and caring for the elderly. They are just a handful of female employees that do it, and many times they are the only people that the elderly sees all day, day after day. It is the reality of abandoned inland and generation, but courageously kept by those that stay for the love of the land, with all that she has.
There is something absolutely beautiful about seeing a building being built out of the same materials that compose the landscape. Sure, marble and mahogany island kitchenettes are fun, but have you ever picked up rocks from the ground and made a wall out of it?