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- Pazos de Borbén.The mysterious caged saint who appeared on top of a hill in Pontevedra
Surely one of the things that most concern you this summer is to enjoy the best possible time and enjoy a clear sky that allows you to toast in the sun. On the other hand, if you are a suffered farmer or, let us say, a melancholic lover of gray days, moss and ferns, you will undoubtedly look at the sky every morning wishing it rains as soon as possible. And in one case as in the other, the control you have over the weather is the same as Maldonado's: you can guess what is coming, at best, but you can't master it. And so it has been since the beginning of time. Or not. Because it turns out that, to dominate the climate, is what the neighbors of a small town in the interior of Pontevedra believe they can do , using structures that are more than two thousand years old. To know what all this is going to visit Tomonde, which is our stop today.
Tomonde is a parish of the municipality of Cerdedo-Cotobade, an administrative monster that emerged from the merger of two border town halls, full of small villages, winding roads, breathtaking landscapes and lots of interesting stories. And in Tomonde they have their saints which is what they call today a pair of stone structures with which they assure that the climate is dominated and that they have been used since time immemorial.
To get to them you have to leave the road and get on a rather battered forest track, so I recommend good shoes or a vehicle adapted to the circumstances. When the visitor discovers the saints, the first thing he does, if he doesn't know what he is contemplating, is scratching his head, intrigued by these strange three-meter-high structures, composed of a pile of stones of different shapes and sizes, stacked on top of a boulder as if they were twin menhirs.
They are two, and of different size . The largest has a kind of arms and the small one, which is usually defined by the locals as "the female" is lower and is only a couple of meters away.
The theoretical operation of these climate manipulators is as follows: if you want it to rain, all you have to do is remove a few stones from the structures and the clouds will come immediately. If you need sun, you just have to increase the height of the menhirs until the star shines brightly in the sky. Of course, the concrete operation has many more complexities that do not tell me - after all I am only a visitor - but they let me fall that not all stones can be removed, that there is an order to move them and that some should not touch , ever, under any circumstances.
With these two magical devices (or low technology, as they prefer to call them), Tomonde's neighbors have kept their village lands safe from storms, floods and droughts for centuries, or so they say. I cannot certify it, because my historical experience in Tomonde, as an occasional visitor, is necessarily scarce, but my interlocutors seem fully convinced.
Although a priori this may seem a somewhat Martian local superstition, the truth is that the idea of controlling the climate by means of stone monuments was an inherent part of Celtic culture . From the island of Boreray, in Scotland, where there are still some stones very similar to those of Tomonde, passing through Saubusse, in French Gascogne until reaching Galicia, where until a few years ago there were still three or four "time stones "In operation (which have disappeared, devoured by civilization or the abandonment of the rural of recent decades), all peoples of Celtic tradition share this belief.
Those who defend the authenticity of these rocks say that they have a telluric connection with the ground and that they are directly related to magnetic fields, alignments and others. As you will understand, I do not know if it is true or not - each one of you is free to have your own opinion, of course - but what you cannot deny is that something must have so that a tradition of such a distant age has survived in such distant places and for so many centuries without having been erased by western Christian culture. That, at least, makes one think.
The truth is that these Tomonde stones are one of the last witnesses of a millenary cultural tradition that agonizes. There are few neighbors left in the parish and I suppose that in a few years there will be nothing left of these structures , abandoned to their fate after three uninterrupted millennia of use. Only then will travelers who pass through here know if they really worked or not.
But while that happens, we go south. We have to discover what an old Celtic castro, a handful of blond and blue-eyed Portuguese and a lot of Viking runes have in common. Although that will be at the next stop.
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