At the bottom of a valley, full of dew and long shadows, the rain collects from the region and rushes by, enclosing the site with the noise of moving water. The buildings’ thick stone walls pull heat from the body, they pull weight like a cellar pulls mystery. I feel compelled to praise darkness, imagined reflections, hints of texture. To bring my face close and taste the quartz and slate.
The sky pushes lightness and darkness across itself, releasing water into lines, gullies, and black mud filled puddles. Clean light saunters across our faces as we shovel and rake, laying down gravel paths, our first marks on the site. The first intended choreography. The crunch underfoot, almost like a burst forward from here to there. A first draft: shockingly different from the great presence of buildings left for the inhabitation of bats and swallows.
A woman wields a pickaxe, a copper tube painted black collects heat for the shower, the palm tree stands tall and overlooks a parade of orchard saplings. Plans and sections are tacked to the chapel wall. Conversations mingle languages. Jamon and honey, wine, tortilla, fresh bread and nettle pesto reassure. Work gloves become as familiar as rolled-up sleeves.