three of the four pillars
as always we have reaccustomed ourselves to life in the north, life in minnesota. its charms are not small or easily dismissed, and they have crept back up on us since last january. our oak leaves have started turning orange on their way to russet. the fireplace season is approaching. apples are plentiful. the minneapolis skyline is beautiful in angled october light. but this picture can do a lot of damage to that point of view. we don’t grow grapes here, or not, anyway, french wine grapes. wild fennel does not grow in profusion on the side of rural highways. and fig trees do not grow along fencerows and up through the collapsed roofs of ancient stone buildings. those are three of the pillars of Languedocian food that this photo makes me hungry for. the fourth pillar is maybe the most fundamental, and that would be olive trees. we do trees very well in the north. we even do sacred trees pretty well. but nothing we have matches all of the associations of the mediterranean olive. i’m ready for this coming autumn, even anxious for it. but i’m ready, too, when the next time comes, to walk among olive trees in southern France, along vineyards, through wild fennel, perhaps on my way to pick a hatful of figs.
figs, fennel, and grapes