Todos los Santos

One of the big debates earlier this week this week was whether or not those of us in the (theoretically) confined neighborhoods of Madrid would be able to visit the cemeteries this weekend. All Saints Day is a national holiday throughout Spain, and its celebration yesterday and today is one of the reasons Madrid and the two adjacent autonomous regions closed their borders to travel over the 3-day weekend.* Traditionally, All Saints is the day you visit the graves of your loved ones— to tidy up, to bring flowers, to remember.

Some sources said yes we could go to the cemeteries, some said no. At that point, I just threw up my hands and said who knows? and have been keeping my own counsel (this applies not just to the weekend but to the confinement in general).

The chestnut roasters appeared on the street corners this weekend; the leaves are starting to turn. We are moving toward the quiet still point of the year. This morning, we honored the day with a wander through the Cementerio de La Almudena, Madrid’s necropolis of 5 million dead.

*Well, the other two regions closed their borders until after the next 3-day weekend, a week from today. At the last minute Madrid decided to close theirs just this weekend and next weekend, but keep them open in between. Confused yet? The only thing I know for sure is that there’s a curfew between midnight and six a.m.