eggs and irises
The Parisians, Beligians, Germans, Dutch and English are down for the Easter weekend. Little hamlets we pass on our morning walk, normally silent and at rest, their pools covered and blue-grey shutters closed, have been flung open, coming alive with children and al fresco feasting, and the market is bursting at the seams with people. Folk transported from Kent are smearing goats cheese straight from the waxy paper onto baguettes instead of eating fish and chips straight from it’s Daily Mirror wrapping, and those from Dusseldorf are buying lavender flavoured saucisson instead of wurst. The Route du Ventoux is chocca with antique Citroens and feverish cyclists their streamlined lycra being led by their long noses, racing to the top. The stall owners are fresh from winter hibernation and geared up for the season. They will not look like this at the end of August!
On Easter morning we walk in search of bearded irises for the table and, finding those at this altitude all closed, return with a small bouquet of grape hyacinths, wild garlic and forget-me-nots from the meadow.
I see an old woman also clasping a bouquet entering the small stone-walled cemetery at La Colombe.
“Bonne Fetes!” I cry merrily. Julian suggests that perhaps my enthusiasm is a little inappropriate given that the woman was probably going to pay her respects to a deceased husband..…Then again, I do wish her, not the crazy jollity I feel, of course, but peace. Perhaps also she might lunch surrounded by children and grandchildren, or indeed find a small bird’s egg to remind her of the continuing cycle of death and new life.