Campo de Montiel: tierra nuestra
It is our land, yours and mine, where those who gave us life, those who taught us the word Humility, lie for eternity
It is not just the countryside that I see around me (lit. that my eyes see). It is life itself, punctually following its natural cycle and nourishing the body and soul. The high quality oxygen we need to breathe thirteen times per minute, as Mother Nature instructs. Gazing at colours, boundaries and horizons, far from concrete and asphalt. Setting foot on the soil where Pedro I and Enrique de Trastamara settled their disputes, that same soil where Quevedo left his footprints and his ultimate legacy; the same soil where Jiménez Patón taught grammar, writing on the ground with an oak stick; and the same soil where Jorge Manrique fought for his castle; of whose existence Da Vinci was made aware by Yañez de Almedina; and where Tomás de Villanueva helped the deprived…
It is the color of this, our land, that circulates in our veins. The same color given by nature to the blood of the king, of the poet, the humanist, the painter, the saintly, the labourer, the muleteer, the farmhand. It is our land, with her warm ferrous hues, her flat plains and furrowed fields, giving life to the poppy and the thistle, dressing herself in green when spring arrives, yellow during the summer, showing her nudity in autumn and keeping her silence in winter.
And there are the men and women of our land, who whiten and embellish the facades of their homes in spring, getting them ready for the Corpus Christi festivity; who stay out on long summer nights in the fresh, cool air, and who are back inside again before the sun becomes oppressive; those who in autumn pick the grapes and celebrate the end of the harvest season and who in winter, surrounded by candlelight, pray to the saints and collect the olives.
This is our land that bids farewell to her children when they leave to seek work elsewhere and greets them forty years later, when they return to relax and meet again their family, friends and memories.
This is our land, yours and mine, where for eternity lie those who gave us life and taught us the meaning of the word Humility in all its senses, and in whose memory we will continue to paint that land with the color of hope for our children.
This will always be our land, humbly majestic and beautiful, with her doors wide open.
Antonio Alfonsea Patón