Saturday, September 15, 2012

ADIEU à l'été - GOODBYE to the summer & des autre choses

Corn & Clouds

"Adieu veau, vache, cochon, couvée" from a fable by Jean de la Fontaine, Perrette et le pot du lait (Perrette and the Pot of Milk) about a  young girl on her way to sell milk at the market daydreaming about what she will be able to buy with all the money she earns, eggs will become chickens, whose sale will allow her to buy a pig, in turn to be sold to buy a cow and a calf.

Fête du cochon - Feuillade

She trips, spills the milk and sees all her dreams evaporate.  Adieu is to be used when your hopes are dashed or you don't expect to see something or someone again. 

Deathbed farewells, seasons turning or "tu peux dire adieu à ton argent" = you can kiss your money goodbye, appropriate usages. Not to be used as one young french friend cautioned me, when visiting a sick friend in hospital.  A few years ago an American acquaintance who felt she had been snubbed by me (by moving to France and not doing it in the style she deemed appropriate) sent me a stinging e-mail, signing it "Adieu".  How thrilled I was when I discovered she was "finished" with me!
Straw - Grassac

Hay Bales - Doumerac
Hay bales - Charras
I've been photographing the hay (foin) all summer.  It was only cut once this year in mid-July when the grass was "high as an ass's eye".  Hay is cut from grass, clover, alfalfa (even though we had horses for years I did not know this).  Straw is the shaft that is left after the grain has been harvested.  When I see the straw bales gleaming in the sunlight, I can't help but to think of Rumpelstiltskin from  Grimm's fairy tale and the miller's lazy daughter who made a deal with the eponymous imp to give him her firstborn child if he spins a whole tower room full of straw into gold. Of course she reneges on the bargain (as any good mother would!) and then has to guess his name.  She gets a bit of help from yet another man - the damsel in distress gambit plays heavily in most of the Grimms' oeuvre-- and comes up with his name on the third try, a suspenseful  arc in all stories involving wishes and guesses.                                                          
This high?

There's been more than a few "adieus" this summer; loss of a beloved plum tree, probably at least 250 years old.  We found the heartwood (coeur du bois) split, the heavy fruited limbs cracking and sagging under their own weight. We gathered the plums and Kevin made plum wine.  It will be ready by Christmas.  Come join us for a toast to what is left in the barrel after "La Part des Anges".

Kevin in the Verger

Adieu aux Tournesols

There hasn't been enough rain for the farmers to pull off a good harvest.  The corn that was not irrigated has been left withering and quaking, rustling in the afternoon winds like noisy ghosts. I bike past fields of sunflowers that look like cadaverous, anorexic, runway models.  I prefer to remember them in their "salad" days, but Vincent saw their beauty in all phases.

Vincent Van Gogh - Two Cut Sunflowers

Scarecrow in Roger's Cellar

Turn, Turn, Turn

To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted.    Ecclesiastes 3

Something for Everyone

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