A Flurry of Fleurs

February 27, 2011

Le printemps chez nous.

Two weekends ago I tasted wild asparagus poking its purple stalk out of the arid hills, the first of the season according to Jacques, our hiking club guide. Winter drab was still covering the landscape and though sunny, I was growing weary of winter’s chill. Then I noticed a patch of trees covered in white spring blossoms off in the distance. The first almonds, noted Jacques. My heart grew tender.

The following week I noticed lone white trees in gray pastures and along roadsides. Against the dormant countryside they stood out like hope. I’d already seen the yellow mimosa trees in flower, but for some reason the delicate white amandiers touched me deeper. It seemed like over night they came alive and began chattering. In French you can say the trees are fleurie, or flowering. They seemed so busy, so alert and alive that I wondered if our word flurry, as in a flurry of activity, had come from this french word for blossoming. But according to http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/flurry the word is an American-made combination of hurry and flutter.

No matter, my hills are now in a flurry of fleurs with purple almond flowers now gracing the setting as well as many more brilliant sunny mimosas and other flowering trees I haven’t yet identified. Spring is here! Violettes are everywhere along the edges of trails and nettles are pushing up tenderly full of vitamin C and springtime energy.

The blossom-lined main road out of town passes this picturesque village permanently bathed in sunlight.

Mimosa flowers fill cars, studios, market stalls and streets.

While living in sub-tropical South Florida where it seems every season has flowering trees, I remember visiting my parents in North Georgia in the spring. Everyone seemed so elated over the Rhododendrons in bloom in the mountains. Though truly beautiful, I don’t think I really grasped their significance. My senses had been so inundated by flowers for years that I carelessly took them for granted. Though I do miss the tropics, I welcome this new sensitivity. It’s like I’ve been given a hearing aid or glasses, like a veil has been lifted.

I’m looking forward to gathering up almonds in my shirt when the time is ripe. Almond milk, almond cake, almond encrusted trout, almond cereal… In the mean time I’m enjoying the outdoors with a heightened sense of wonder as spring blossoms.

Yesterday we went hiking on the GR10 with new friend Sara from Oregon.

Sara, Alain, Lilly and I made a picnic under spring sun.

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2 Responses to “A Flurry of Fleurs”

  1. lustintotravel said

    Glad to see you back at the machine a ecrire!

  2. Marian said

    Your photo of the “blossom-lined main road out of town with the picturesque village” was every bit as good as (maybe even better than) whole page photos I found in a book, “The Most Beautiful Villages of France”, in the public library. Great photograph.

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