Soon enough the stars will appear like little nicks of light gouged into the darkness. Voices emerge from the ambiguity of evening as the kids return from school, grumpy and starving, and reach for a cup of hot chocolate and the first sugary taste of cake in their eager mouths.
My village lies there in all its stony composure under the first thunderstorm of fall. It meant cold weather was coming, creeping in like a procession of ghosts under the rumbling sky.
I am an outsider and always will be no matter how long I come and spend my summers here. I don’t mind; I like my existence framed this way, with enough sunlight to comfort my skin and aging body, and my ears thirsting to hear French laughter, and French whispers below my window.
The rain isolates you the way not even silence can.
Night is a palace of memories, with the beams lashed to the roof and corded with fragments of childhood, vanished links of how we grew up, and faint traces of our mother caressing our hair and sending us up to bed after a rambling story about ghosts and goblins.
When we pushed open the door to our village house, an old familiar odor of sun-warmed plaster rose up to us as if to give us an embrace.
Everyone around here is sluggish. The young woman who checks my purchases off the conveyor belt dabs her eyes and stifles a yawn. She keeps shaking herself awake as the … Continue reading
The monks of Europe often planted their vines in cemeteries to ward off thieves, and believed you could taste the blood of ghosts when you drank. My mother would sip her wine and look away dreamily and then back at me as if I had come home from a long journey, with the Mazda parked in her driveway.
It’s summer and the gods are playing tug of war with the wind and the sun. Some days are dead-weighted with humid air that clings to our our faces like … Continue reading
The hills have turned so green it almost seems the world could melt into an emerald blaze, a conflagration of jewels and diamond-crusted creeks. The birds are celebrating some … Continue reading