Thursday, September 25, 2008
dates, splashes, bells
We are home now, but the holiday images linger. From one of the bars facing the sea, I can still, helped by the photograph, lean back and look up at the saw-like leaves and fruit of a date palm.
After swimming in the sea as the raindrops fall all around me, I find myself a few hours later swimming in the hotel pool, which as usual we have to ourselves. From the edge, I watch the rain making circles in the water below me. Then, in the water myself, I see the drops from the banana palm, which leans over, fall heavily beside me. Each drop sends up a momentary fountain, which rises and subsides in a flash. Very different are the lighter rain drops which fall more rapidly in the centre of the pool. They shoot up like needles of ice, brief and sprightly.
On the eve of the fiesta of the patron saint of Sitges, Santa Tecla, the church bells ring with a wild abandon. Though, when we look up at the bell tower of the church, and see just one bell of many swinging with a poised deliberation, we realize that the intensity of the din comes from the number of the bells rather than from an apparent frenzy on the part of the ringers. We watch the bell ride slowly through almost 180 deg. Its clapper holds on until the cup reaches the appropriate angle and swings across in its own time and strikes the cup on the opposite side. We can just distinguish its individual sound from those of the other bells. Then slowly the bell begins to swing again, the clapper moving its own time.