Monday, 16 May 2011
The edge of France. Behind a Jura farmhouse, a path winds upwards through a wood and somewhere in the wood you are in Switzerland.
The edge of language fluency. The French I once spoke well enough that inattentive southerners might think me from the north, but lack of practice means that now I grope for words.
The edge of an ancient tradition, the language of plants. I would go out and gather, for jamjars on windowsills, wild flowers from the many that grew beside that path. A return to childhood, tripping through the woods with a basket. For all my ignorance of their names and properties, a deep attraction and peace in their presence. In the years since then I've learned more of their names, in French and in English, and some elements of medical herbalism as long practiced in both France and England.
The edge of my vision. On the last evening, the shadow of a deer emerging from the forest to run across the field behind the house, so fast I can never be sure it was real and not a trick of the light.
A time and place that flickers brightly at the edge of my heart.
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This is included in Language and Place On the Edge, Issue 6 of the >Language >Place blog carnival, edited by Michelle Elvy at Glow Worm.