Les mures sont mures! Berry ripe berries…

August 17, 2011

It’s been a surprisingly cool summer. Lots of rain. The sweater I only wore one or two times in winter in the Everglades is now ragged from use. But I’m not complaining. David Abram in his beautifully inspiring book The Spell of the Sensuous quotes a Koyukon elder (people of northern Alaska) who believes in “accepting the weather as it comes and avoiding remarks that might offend it. This is especially true of cold, which has great power and is easily provoked to numbing fits of temper.”

Abram’s book is a celebration of humanity’s ancient roots in nature and simultaneously a lament of our current disconnect from it. Among many other things, it’s inspired me to accept the seasons as they choose to unfold.

It’s late summer now here in the eastern Pyrenees. The days have grown warm with afternoon thunderstorms building up over the presiding mountain Le Canigou. The farmer on the ridge just above our village of Arles sur Tech cut his fields last week. Alain and I passed him on his tractor hauling an overflowing load of hay for his cows to eat this winter. Two nights ago we drove my friend Isabelle home from the train station in Perpignan. A big orange moon rose up over the Alberes mountains, their night outline fading far toward the sea. Alain said, “Les jours racourcissent vite maintenant.” The days are quickly getting shorter now.

This morning we took Lilly on our regular walk along a dirt road and pastures soon to be full of cows returning from high mountain grazing. The morning air was warm with late season smells of ripeness. We collected bags of blackberries and pulled hazelnuts from a tree not far from the river. We made note of a walnut tree nearby, its branches growing full of nuts to collect in the fall.

My tiny French freezer is full of peaches and strawberries. Last weekend we jarred tomato sauce and pickled yellow squash. All the vineyards in the region are heavy with fruit. The season is suddenly on us.

And so too is its end. But I don’t feel sad or rushed by such fate. The weather will change. I will  welcome it. I only hope it hears my good words.

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One Response to “Les mures sont mures! Berry ripe berries…”

  1. Marian said

    So you are taking Lilly on “my” walk without me!! It’s okay. I’m just missing being there. Your post brought it to life.

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