Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Wind

It blows, it howls, it prepares to lift my heavy stone house from its foundation. It tosses leaves by the hundreds into the pool and dries out every plant in the garden. It keeps me awake at night, softening only a wee bit in the morning. It drowns the songs of my morning bird chorus, and drives dust under the door and through the cracks around the windows. Pollen, dust, leaves, fluff, all are swirling in the air. My rose bush is shorn of her petals and many another flower is buttoned up shut. Only the pink oleander is coming into bloom, sturdy on its firm branches.

My head aches when I awake, my mind is sluggish and disturbed. Small children are anxious and cry for no reason. Even Filou stays nervously by my side rather than roll in the dirt with his friend Saline.

It's been four days now. Four days of hot sun. Four days of fierce winds. Good for the vineyards, though it renders clay soil stone hard. Good for the olive groves, up to a point. Not good for the beekeeper. With the moisture of the morning dew so quickly swiped away by the hot breeze, the bees stay inside, or visit my pool.

It is the Mistral. A wind that blows at any time all year long. A north wind that can reach up to 120 km / hour, as clocked from the top of the Mount Ventoux. It bends trees to the south, and twists the locals a bit too. It is the glory and the bane of living in Provence.

They say tomorrow it will calm its anger and leave us a moment of peace. I would like to hear my birds again.

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