Monday, March 1, 2010

Hints of Spring

I am a being of the spring. I was born in May, and with each spring I come back to life as so much of the natural world does around me. In the winter, I'm often hit by the doldrums of sunlight deprivation (yes, even here in Provence: remember that NY is on the same level as Rome, so I'm really getting the light, or lack there of, of Boston, if not the snow...). I huddle, I hibernate, I snuggle, I pull out films, books, knitting, baking, concentrated red wines, hot toddies, rum or bourbon laced coffee and chocolate drinks... whatever I can just to get through it all.

At the painting show of my art teacher from the Steiner teachers' training, Nona Sederstam (you can find her on facebook), I chose the painting which for me best represented my soul and spirit -- not the calm and meditative blues, not the firey reds, but the burst of colors springing like a phoenix reborn. When winter depression comes upon me, I meditate on these colors, these beacons to life and hope.

Thus, it is most natural when those first hints of spring start to appear I grow hopeful. Energy comes flowing back. I seek to be outdoors for any and all reasons. I scratch the earth, roam the woods, admire the light bouncing over the water, listen to the birds, smell the dark soil. Ahhh.
This weekend was a particularly magical one. I had help -- hey, mon homme is back in my life, and proving himself useful and willing. T'is a good thing, no? And, I think understandably, before I'm willing to bring my things back to his place, I needed to see and feel him here, now, in my world, at my side.

The bike shed now has a roof (with the kids we'd managed only to get the walls up). The thyme and a cognassier (Japanese quince) have been moved to sunnier spots, and my jasmin and climbing rose on my facade are neatened up after the weight of the snow storm pulled them down.

As I weeded my rose bush patch I spotted the emerging crocuses planted two years ago by Hayley and Jojo. My long-ago planted cognassier is just beginning to flower, with many a bud promissing more of its bright orange pink blossoms. And back in the vegetable patch, my garlic experiment is sprouting happily. It won't keep me in garlic for more than a month or two, but hey, what joy to see life springing through that dark earth, promising a harvest shortly (need to double check on when...).

With a few more desk-top projects to accomplish, cvs to drop off, interviews to program... things are looking up!

Now, if only I could wake up a half hour earlier and salute the sun as it streams into my bedroom window. I know that would do me some good, n'est-ce pas?


Zuleme said...

Here in NH we plant garlic in October and harvest it usually in early August. It will be different in Provence. It will sprout a curled stalk as it grows. You cut that off to keep the energy going to the bulb and it is delicious in stir fries. Here it is called green garlic and is a delicacy, Garlic wants a good steady amount of water, as do onions.
Thanks for the spring photos as we sit under a blanket of cloudy skies and crusty snow.

Madeleine Vedel said...

ok, early August in your part of the world coincides with which fruit? We've strawberries in April, Cherries in early June, Apricots in July... and you say there will be a curled stalk I need to snip off... hmmmm

Airelle said...

I love the Provence spring as well. Summer is too hot, everything is burned but in spring everything is green and flowers are flowering. Funny, I live in Southern Drome, less than en hour from Avignon but we don*t have all those flowers yet!

Anonymous said...

Hi Madeleine, I'm planning to visit Avignon's lavender field on May 21-23 and kinda worried I wont get to see lavender. Since you are there, hope you can help advice if I'll only see green fields or some purpleish blue field? My email add