Here in the Cévennes region, spring is elusive. One day, we have brilliant sunshine and bright blue skies filled with puffy white clouds. We pull out our spring/summer clothes, sit in the sunshine for lunch, and melt into the warmth. The very next day might be chilly, blustery, gray. A bit of a roller coaster with never a dull moment.
As much as like the clear, luminous days, the contrast of the cozy cooler ones are not unwelcome. That is, unless they go on and on, dampening our moods if we let them. Yet if we look up, gaze at even the steely skies, there is beauty to behold.
One of the very best parts of spring, in my opinion, is color. Yellow-greens, pinks and corals, along with deep ruby and purple...gifts that keep on giving. Every day there's a new discovery, something new that pokes its head up out of our rocky terrain. I love how God created the world in such spectacular detail.
It's not hard to understand why Van Gogh painted so many irises. They are spectacular and we have them everywhere. I've tried to capture their beauty in watercolor, but nothing comes close, of course, to Van Gogh's paintings. He captured their essence, so similar to one another, yet each unique. And their tangled, angled leaves...I'm in awe of his talent!
Iris, Vincent Van Gogh, 1889
Irises in our garden
Spring speaks of new life; it abounds everywhere I look. Grass, flowers, weeds (!) grow before our eyes and that's without our normal amount of rain. Birds sing and chirp, bees hum happily, diving deep into new blossoms. So much to enjoy!
In the last month, I've sown many seeds, in small pots in our greenhouse. I marvel anew at the miracle of watching teeny tiny seeds sprout into plants that, in turn, will produce fruit with a plethora of seeds inside. God provided more than enough in every single plant to reproduce and multiply. Astounding.
So many tomatoes...
Zucchini, lettuce, fennel, several types of peppers, eggplant (didn't grow; will have to try again!), sunflowers, calendula, marigolds, echinacea, and more!
Warmer weather draws us outdoors, to work the garden, to stare at the clouds, watch the chickens free, and, of course, enjoy meals. Once the heat of summer––and the mosquitos––come, it's not as enjoyable to be outside. So we make the most of it now during these moderate and extraordinarily pleasant days.
Everyday meals and special gatherings....Easter Sunday brunch, friends sharing homemade brews in the tiny trellis-covered amphitheater which receives and perfectly holds the heat of the sun. Plus a massive, delicious paella for 24, made by dear friends––the best we've ever eaten. So much life!
Speaking of life, we recently celebrated the Passover with a seder meal. We held this event inside as the evening meal and all the wonderful explanations of Jesus' fulfilling prophecy go well after dark. His death during the Passover feast was not coincidental, but the fulfillment of all for which we long and wait. Jesus is THE Passover lamb, who takes away the sins of the world, releasing us into true freedom. Wohoo!
Passover seder table and plate
Back outside, one of my favorite activities is letting the chickens range free through the spring grasses and flowers. It's a feast out there! Side benefit is more eggs and me relaxing in the springtime sun––until I have to round them up and get them safely back in their home.
Fields of yellow dandelions, budding fruit trees, butterflies dancing...a little taste of heaven on earth. Beauty heals, uplifts, blesses which isn't surprising considering it's all the handiwork of our loving, good, Creator God.
Enjoy your spring, breathe in the beauty, and give thanks!
La vie est belle!