One month into Spring, nature has reached fever pitch in our corner of France.
The greening of fields and trees is perhaps one or two shades away from its most intense. But the pink and white blossoms on the trees are in full bloom, the fields are intensely yellow with dandelion and rapeseed, every plant is either burgeoning or bearing signs of a bud. Flying insects go about their business everywhere and bump up against the windows in the sun.
The birds do not seem to sleep at all (and I am often awake to hear them). I’ve no idea if these are normal birds, perhaps twittering all night long to protect their young, or night birds. There are a couple of nests in the eaves. Whatever they are, I don’t remember ever hearing quite this much nocturnal peeping before.
It’s a wonderful time of year. In a couple of weeks, the farmers will have plowed the fields for planting, the blossoms will be off the trees and the sun will be high enough to send me scurrying for a hat.
‘Battre son plein’ means to reach a crescendo, a culmination point. The expression is often used to describe an event, like a party or fair (la fête bat son plein). It is thought to find roots in the description of the tide reaching its maximum point before going out, but this is not certain. Some say it has to do with music, others with the moon.
Whatever it is, my heart is beating along with it.
Along with it beats the rest of French life. Macron has called in the military to remove the ‘zadistes’ or squatters from the ill-fated Notre-Dame-des-Landes airport/agricultural development (more on that later). The students are blocking a dozen universities; trains and planes are still regularly cancelled. And this week, following the worrying military strikes in Syria by France, Britain and the US, it was announced that Macron has taken steps to withdraw the Legion of Honour awarded to Assad by former president Jacques Chirac. Why he got it in the first place is a mystery.
As our spring season reaches fever pitch, across the pond snow shovels are still in active duty. And down under, I hear a collective sigh of relief at the passing of the summer’s heat.
Whatever weather is at your door, may you enjoy it while it lasts or herald what’s next.