Apologies for the radio silence on this blog over the last two months. As some of you know, it’s been a difficult spring: the death of Mick’s father, followed by my month-long bout of antibiotic resistant bronchitis. And it’s about to be quiet for a few weeks longer, as on Sunday I leave for my annual visit to the States. There are graduations to celebrate, and simpler rituals to enjoy: early coffee with my mom on the back porch, for example. She’ll insist that I borrow a warmer bathrobe, and while we sit and gossip, we’ll look for the resident family of chipmunks. I might report from the road; if not, see you back here shortly.
Earlier this week, walking towards the car parked down in the little Gobi, I was brought to a standstill by the heady smell of spring. Outside the primeurs were the first peaches, their dappled skins warm in the sun; sharp green pods of fava beans, ranged fan-like in rough baskets; piles of lemons, oranges, melons and plums, towering over happy oddities like kumquats and quince; and far at the end of the line, the last of the winter pears. The air surrounding me was chill, but not crisp. Its breezes no longer brought the scent of the mountains. Instead of bare stone covered in snow, I smelled the sea, tasted the faintest tingle of salt at the back of my throat. Construction on the terrace above le grand parking had mercifully ceased, and so there was no hellish clatter of machinery, no acrid clouds of concrete dust. I lifted my eyes to the hills, their slopes dark green and scumbled, and saw a filmy haze suspended there. The seasons, holding their breath, rested in perfect balance. I closed my eyes, and did the same.
amrh / Valbonne, mid-May 2012