My prized Easter possession from this year lies in my fruit bowl. It takes the center spotlight, dominating over the soggy lemon and two lumpy oranges.This special Easter avocado is still firm in my hands, not quite ready to eat, and is the kind with smooth lighter green skin- not Hass. This avocado is special, because Jesus gave it me. I guess saying that Jesus ‘gave it to me’ might be a stretch…he didn’t actually hand me it. To be more honest he more ‘threw it at my direction hitting me’. But God is notorious for doing things like that.
11:00am this morning I was still fast asleep in bed in my cozy village of Torrox. This week has been an incredible blur of events and I’m still left exhausted from it.I had 10 days of Semana Santa vacation and took full advantage of it. Between hiking and exploring, to bar hopping and tapa trying, to parades and street food, to bullfights – I have accumulated probably around 1,000 photos that need to be gone through, as well as the need for a good nights rest. I might have achieved this rest last night but it was the bustle of people outside my window walking along the tree lined boulevard that awoke me. I’m glad they did though. I was able to wake up and quickly brush my teeth, and make a quick pony tail trying to smooth out all my frizzes. I didn’t bother washing my face, I still had the makeup from last night on. I tried to compensate for my messy appearance with a nice feminine spring dress and a pair of heels. I may live in a village but people still dress in their best when the go out to the streets.
I was out the door in 15 mins with 35mm camera in hand and ready to find some Easter Sunday action.
There certainly was quite a number of people out and about. I ran into and talked with my neighbor Antonio, we’ve been speaking with each other more now. He was taking it easy on a bench next to this other old man who kept repeating, ‘who is it?’ ‘who is that your talking to?’, in reference to me after I had been there for awhile. Antonio proudly announced that we were neighbors and knew each other.I left Antonio but told him I’d like to invite him to drink orange juice sometime.
I ran into another Antonio. I had met him 2 nights before, he’s a friend of Manu’s- the man who made me a pumpkin lamp. The young Antonio is 29 and from Torrox. He’s nice and also a Capricorn,…I know that because he asked me my sign right away when I met him, and then we googled what it all meant. Dispite a really harsh predicted incompatibility we get along just fine. So the young one and I met each other on the street just as the as people started to swarm the streets forming a crowd, and the bell signifying the start of the religious procession rang.
To give a brief background Semana Santa, or the holy week before Easter is huge in Spain. Huge is an understatement. It’s an event that is not only steeped in tradition that stems back to the Middle Ages, but with all the time and money spent as well as the amount of people that pour into Spain to witness it, is impressionable. The main attraction are the processions, or parades of people carrying elaborate and lifelike wooden or plastic scuptures of various depictions of Jesus, the Virgin Mary or other biblical scenes related to Easter. These sculptures are carried on the necks of men dressed in long robes (or suits in the case of Torrox) and paraded through the streets making a route to and from the cathedral. Not only are there these sculptures but other people are designated to follow carrying candles, or other religious significant items, and also often there are younger women dressed in all black that symbolize the Virgin that follow as well. ((Once I organize my photos I’ll have a separate photo blog on Semana Santa))
Technically speaking Easter Sunday isn’t part of Semana Santa, but does include mid-day processions. I was fortunate to have been able to witness processions in Malaga this past Thursday as well as Friday night in Torrox and again this afternoon. This afternoon was a bit different though. It was more relaxed and less elaborate than the previous night, and in particular the ‘trono’ or carried sculpture was different. It was Jesus, wrapped in beautiful robes surrounded in gold, but the bottom of the figure was surrounded by various fruits and vegetables that had been carefully placed adorning the base.
I was able to follow the crowds of people and partake in the procession while simultaneously taking pictures. It was while I was taking pictures that I was ‘thunked’ with an avocado that had been shaken from Jesus and hit me. I felt it before I saw it, my eye was squinting into the viewfinder of my camera, but I looked down and picked it up before it could be trampled upon or roll away.
I didn’t make it to see the return of the big plastic Jesus to the cathedral, I ran into the girls who work at the cafe and ditched Antonio to drink some beers and eat some tapas with them. But apparently its tradition that before Jesus enters the cathedral again the people are allowed to pick off the fruits and veggies and keep them.
So as you eat ham, eggs, jelly beans, chocolate or whatever traditional food that Easter may include for you I’ll be with my holy Easter avocado this year. It almost makes me want to peel it open and check to see if there is a secret message from God in it,…or maybe its an Easter miracle and full of dark chocolate!!(could explain the firmness!!) But even if its not, its special just the same.
Happy Easter everyone!