Saturday, July 25, 2009

cabanon in the vaucluse

I guess it is something like paradise: short-termed and full of sun and wind. I am sitting at my table outside (really a door of course, on some stretchers), covered with an ancient blue and yellow cloth, and just the size to seat about 10 or 12 people, for whatever you might feel like bringing up the steep stone steps. Except that right now it is just me, looking out over the field from which the vines were ripped out many many years ago, now a length of green and brownish stubble and some trees: muriers de chine, from which the mulberries can be picked. Almost tasteless but nice to feel you have some fruit. and an oak or two (do they have truffles? someone said so, but we haven't hired a truffle dog and no one would tell you.) And a spindly fig tree, which rarely has figs, but then has them in such quantity that you have to dash out to snatch them before the birds do. And the tiny olive tree I loved so when it was right in front of the table, but when it had to be moved, because the "view" was blocked -- that would be the view up to the chapel on the hill, where our neighbor's daughter was married last year, her greenish Renaissance dress blowing in the wind, and Shakespeare and French and Italian poetry recited in front of the tall wooden cross. The olive tree -- MY olive tree -- almost gave up the olive ghost at the shock of moving, but was saved by a radical cutting of branches and some water, and now is a small recovering thing.

The cigales are making their comforting little screech, and the semi-mistral is shaking the leaves. and soon I will go down the stone steps to put lunch on the other door-table downstairs by the ivied wall. Yes, one could write or something, but since the Tour de France is about to pass by down at the bottom of the long hill, the excuse is to do nothing. I like nothing, it turns out.

Part of the paradise feelin is you don't have to do anything to feel you deserve being here: you are just here. Expanding your senses over a lingering coffee in the early morning or some salad with olive oil (unbelievable, from Malemort up the hill) and white peaches and local wine. I never imagined this when I was little and less little, and if I ever have to give it up, I won't be forgetting it.

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