Saturday 29 August 2009

"The Summer Kisses"

The French have a song.

Colchiques dans les près
Fleurissent, fleurissent
Colchiques dans les près
C'est la fin de l'été

The melody is wistful and regretful and the song finishes with -

Et ce chant dans mon cœur
Murmure, murmure
Et ce chant dans mon cœur
Murmure le Bonheur

It’s called “Automne”.

Colchiques are “autumn crocus” and if your heart murmures it’s probably best to let out a big sigh and find someone who loves you for what you are, warts and all.

But when does summer really end?

Is it when the autumn crocus flours through the tangled dryness of the late summer meadow?

Do you wait for the next solstice or is it finished the night the skies crack open and throw back everything they sucked dry the previous couple of months?

When the lightning rips across the hills in rampant anger and the thunder scares?

Is it done when you no longer sleep outside, find apricots in the market or see them replaced with the first of grapes of autumn?

Or was it already doomed when friends returned from shared days, to their own home?

When you fold the hammock up, buy a new bag for school, open the letterbox to find no more postcards or stop dreaming about a weekend by the sea?

Or is it when the trees, starved for thirst despite the night’s storm, give up and let their leaves colour, and fall a month early.
Turning the yard into an autumnal waste?

When you eat a fresh fig, a month early?

Well the solstice is still some days off, but the skies cracked at the start of the week, the apricots are a week-gone, in the local market the grapes are in and the friends returned weeks ago. I ate a fig yesterday.

The hammock is still in place but the schoolbooks are bought and I expect no more postcards. I have officially renounced all plans to go to the beach.

The yard is already an autumnal jumble of fallen leaves, albeit through drought, and tumbled and trampled crab apple.

And this morning we awoke cold from our garden slumber.

I’m off to the meadow to check but…..

Tonight we move back to the house.

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