Like in smaller towns, men sit at the very end of the church. The women scatter about in the reminder of the church – women have always outnumbered men in churches.

I remember another town in Castile, smaller that this one, where we visited the tiny church on an occasion where it was empty. There were cushions on the banks. We later learned that the local women put them there in order to keep their place on the bank. The strangers, those that we came for a visit, would have to sit on a place with no cushion on it.

Not in this one; there is even a Brotherhood here that gives you a little card when you return from kissing the cross on Good Friday. There is also a choir, which means a group of people who sing in a very disorganised manner, and also means the place designated for that group. This town has both. I say this because in most places, there is either the place or the people, but hardly ever both of them in the same church. The choir has its own altar, although it is no longer used, and each seat has a kind of mini-altarpiece, with its filigrees, although not much of those filigrees is left now, because time has eaten it away almost entirely, and it has never been treated by a restaurateur. The same happens with the magnificent organ that no one plays any more, because they bought an electronic organ that has now been played by an organist for over twenty years ago, always the same one, twenty years! – he seems eternal.

The one thing that remains the same is the river, with our permission. Its water travels and travels, eternally towards the sea – or, more accurately, towards the Ebro, a bigger and more powerful river that appeared even in my school books. And it goes on travelling after my years, and after hers, and they can be centuries, even millennia, who knows…

One of the bridges that cross it from one bank to the other is two millennia old, that is for sure. Under it, the water. I stop to look at it and I try to understand that,, the water that passes over that stone is a different and new drop of water every single instant but always following the same course, always invariable, during centuries.