We are just returned from a small holiday south of where we live in Portugal.
One of the places we visited (for the third time) was Serpa
For me, one of the highlights of visiting this place is the ancient olive trees outside the city walls. Now that I have a half-decent camera, I thought I’d share a few of the pictures – although I don’t think they do the trees justice. One can only imagine the things these trees have “seen”.
In addition, they have a rather lovely small garden, and I was particularly struck by this poem, quite often seen in Portugal, written by Veiga Simões in 1914, at the entrance…
Roughly translated, this means…
To the Wayfarer
You that pass and raise your arm to me
before you hurt me, look at me well.
I am the heat of your home in the cold winter nights.
I am the friendly shade that you find
when walking under the august sun
And my fruits are appetizing freshness
That satisfy your thirst on the way.
I am the friendly beam of your house, the board of your table
the bed in which you rest and the wood of your boat.
I am handle of your hoe, the door of your home,
the wood of your cradle and of your own coffin.
I am the bread of goodness and the flower of beauty.
You that pass, look at me well and do no harm.
-- "Do not speak – unless it improves on silence."