Friday, July 20, 2007
The Yellow Sentinels
Day after day for several weeks after we arrived in early May we would drive past the greening fields, watching for little shoots begin to emerge. As the plants started to get their first leaves we assumed it would be easy to identify the crops, but corn was the only one that was easily recognizable. We were totally buffaloed by one particular plant that was growing by leaps and bounds daily. We eventually ruled out tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, and beans. Then it suddenly developed stalks. While Mathilde was here, we investigated further and another piece of the puzzle was put into place---all this time we have been surrounded by sunflower fields.
Thousands, millions, an infinite number of sunflowers. One morning 10 or 12 had popped open, and by weeks end they had exploded exponentially. Now they are in full bloom, lining the main roads and petite rues all across our area of the Ariege. They nod their heads in unison, welcoming each passerby, tilting their heads to the sun. A glorious prologue to the Pyrenees. I hope their sunny faces will still be shining when we leave our French home in September.
It was such a treat to discover all these fields were not hay or wheat, but yellow sentinels watching over little Leran. Some knowledge that we have acquired here has not come without a struggle. Much is still needed and yet to come. Those little discoveries are the rewards of being here.