Things Left Undone
No matter how much we do, the pile of boxes seems undiminished, although the suitcases get undeniably closer to overflowing. So many things are left undone. We leave tomorrow, and the leaves I’ll never have time to rake reproach me.
The peaceful stream of our daily French life has become a jumble sale of disparate remnants crying out for someone to come and create order. That someone would be me, if I weren’t busy wandering through the garden
wondering whose supper will benefit from my tiny thyme flowers and fresh, new sage leaves. Will the people who are renting this house for the summer even know what to do with my herbs,
or the tiny nectar-filled plums that have to be gathered the instant they turn red, before they lose their tenuous grip with the first breath of the mistral and end up as something stuck on the bottom of an uncautious sandal?
We haven’t done much cleaning up yet, sandals or otherwise, but we did move some furniture back to where we found it. Luckily for the new renters we did it for them, because Zazou went off to Kitty Camp without mentioning to us that under the sofa we’d find her secret hunting stash: two dead lizards, one dead scorpion, and half a dozen dried up olives. I might have forgotten to tell you that Zazou has an olive fetish and harvests them herself to bring in the house, just as she forgot to tell us that she could catch a scorpion with impunity. The things we don’t know about the lives lived all around us, so many mysteries, so few really good explanations.
In the midst of all this we’ve had a couple of deliciously warm days, and whereas earlier in the week we had a cherry tree covered with green fruit, today we have something that’s nearly tempting, almost edible. In a week the cherries will be begging for juice-stained fingers and jam jars and sighs of fruity pleasure. Not my fingers, though, not my sighs. For all I know, this year half of the cherries will fall to the ground and the rest will delight the local bird population, those same birds that Beppo won’t be hunting this summer.
But whatever the fate of the crop, there’s one cherry destined for me. I’ve been keeping my eye on it, the ripest one within reach. It’s not really ready to be eaten, but I’m going to eat it anyway, because in this life sometimes you just have to jump at a chance. Tonight, when the last box is in the garage and the last suitcase is zipped, I’m going to make that cherry my own. Like our life here, it will be a chance worth taking, a no turning back, pick me now, enjoy every bit, ready or not here I come, tart, sweet, juicy, messy, kind of moment. And then we’ll leave.