The Virgen de Regla came out of the church, into her people again this weekend. It was a city-wide celebration of the its patron saint. And in pure Spanish style, it was loud and beautiful, a holy, bountiful fiesta.
Children chased bubbles in the plaza, while adults drank cerveza in blue-striped tents. Cannon fire and midnight fireworks. Moon bounces and cigarettes. Glorious contradictions,
And at the heart of it all, a mother.
In this case, the mother of Jesus, but it could be any mother. When I look into the eyes of The Virgen, I see loss, and hope. Dreams and fears. All that we women carry, as we love our children, as we walk amongst the world.
I think that, as a non-Catholic, that’s what brings me back to Mary. My eyes linger at her image, by doorways, or as she is paraded down the streets. She loved, and she cherished. She ached. Yearned. Wept.
And even if it is only by custom alone, the city celebrates this. They dance, and feast, and gather together. To celebrate a tradition which honors family,and the shared hosanna of community.
I do not pretend to understand all that Mary means to Catholicism. I cannot speak to the heart of every Spaniard. I can only share what I feel.
And that is a chill, a hush, and somebody whispering my name.