August 12, 2007

Dear Claudine,

"Thank you so much for your e-letter of July 4th. It's not that I receive such lovely letters often. Nor would I take the task to respond lightly. Rather I was off traveling on a rather wonderful road trip through the Balkins that lead to a train journey on to Istanbul (the stuff that dreams are truly made of) and so the emails arrived, and arrived and arrived... and waited in one huge electronic pile!

And so I end this long lovely summer day to travel a bit more this way- with words. I was able to 'browse' your recent book online and look forward to receiving it soon. We do have many cross links in geography with my family still in the Boston Area (although I have never lived there!) We were raised in Hawaii and California while my Father served in the Navy in the 50's and then on to Arizona in the 60's. I suppose it was this early traveling life that marked me enough to keep my eye open and ready for the next move.

France has been a dream for me, too; reality never quite interferes enough to bother me. I wake up, hear birds singing, see the sky through a open hatch and then decide how the day will play out. This morning I started with a promise. A promise to a guest, Master Blake (a very serious 4 year old!) to pick haricots verts in the potager. We did, indeed, pick a basket full of giant ones that had been secretly growing while I was playing in Bulgaria. Joined by his big, wee brother Conrad, we discovered a few puny potatoes, "Look! A potato in the ground!" and then one long Andean tomato (the rest have been eaten by mildew) and a solitary aubergine. A sugar squash was too tempting to ignore. Overall, it was a successful harvest and enough to impress a four year old even if I won't win any awards this year.

What a nice way to start the day. I then weeded with Master Digger and we spoke of life stuff while cleaning the pergola which had completely overgrown with knee high grass. I must remove the gravel and lay down the felting material, either that or be resigned to eternal weeding. It's on The List.

The List grows long here and shifts from potager to garden to boat by whim and time of day. I clean one patch of the herb garden removing the roquette that had I let go to seed and discovering a mossy nest cradled in the seedheads. It turned out to be a closed nest with two left behind eggs the size of jellybeans. I think it belonged to a small robin we saw in June. She must have forgotten them and moved on.

Next, I wandered to scrub the cobwebs off the boat. Literally. Spiders of many variety drift across the canal from the poplar trees, float down the current on a leaf and in general decide to play stowaway in every nook and cranny of the railings. Sometime I applaud my neglect and say the lacy 'toiles' keep the mosquitoes at bay but mostly I ignore the work at hand. Three hours later one side of the boat was cleared and cleaned. Shipshape is tedious work but better than working in an office.

At last, I could walk Bacon to the wooded spring area and joined by the boys-will-be-boys again, we looked for frogs, arranged some sticks and let Bacon and Blake paddle in the icy stream.

A trip to the hardware store and few nuts and bolts later and I am ready to call it a day. Some projects get glued, screwed and sorted and I am as dirty by the end of the light at 9:30ish as I was first thing in the garden this morning. I am hungry and tired. A good day but long. "Why sit and write"

Because the energy of your words reminds me of the most wonderful dream of all—that we are never beyond dreaming. Thank you, Claudine, for writing to me. And I look forward to reading more of your words. Until then, you can find me at here.

Warm regards from Gascony,


1 comment:

Ed Bruske said...

Welcome back, lovely to hear from you again