Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter Sunday

Sun-bright afternoon.  The wind is occasionally fierce and we must anchor the sun umbrellas with big stones stolen from the stone wall in the sunken garden.  Rituals: hardboiled eggs from a neighbor’s chickens, pale blues, browns, greens, and pink.  A toast with a glass of our friend Fede’s sparkling Nebbiolo to those who cannot be with us.  Fede means faith in Italian, probably in Latin as well.  The taste of the salted egg.  Just like the first time we had lunch one spring in Sicily a week before Easter, the egg served with Zibbibo, a sweet sparkling white wine.  The green house is open, the lettuces all stretching to the light.  A child’s Easter gifts left on the floor of the porch.  The plates are full with a fresh ham, new potatoes with basil, a salad cut from the green house just before lunch, roasted squash and leeks.  We cut into a gorgeous round of local Roquefort, creamy and pungent.  And onion tart both salty and sweet.  Two morning doves stroll through the orchard then fly up into an apple tree.  Rosato from the north of Italy on the border with Austria.  White wine, a Blanc de Morgex et La Salle from  the Alps,  and we are back to Sicily with a light red Frappato.  Will we always double back to Sicily?

The pears have been poached in red wine and the sour cherry tart is very dark, but not brooding.  The remnants of last autumn’s harvest.  My husband says that Easter in our northern hills is always made up of the last of the winter’s bounty.  We cannot look to spring quite yet.  In the unusual heat, we dress in bright colors and short sleeves until the sun goes behind racing mares’ tails only to return once we’ve put our sweaters on.  Thick dark coffee served in cups bought  a long time ago in Paris and tea served from a white porcelain set flecked with gold.  A story about rabbits is read to a child.  We blow bubbles to remember that we too were once children who hunted for eggs in the hydrangea and lilac and refused our naps.  After everyone is gone, the glasses stand empty on the white tablecloth.  The interior of the coffee cups is painted with doe-colored dregs. 

The light filters through a dirty window and the impulse to wash it overcomes the impulse to sit down.  A vase full of shell pink double tulips open even wider.  Dusk washes the wall of old pale gray wallpaper  painted with the climbing dog rose.  A new pot of tea perfumes the end of the day.  The sun slips behind the ridge and the meadow is in shadow.  We are left with quiet.