Wednesday, November 16, 2011

departure and arrivals

Fall has left along with its abundant cultivation and harvest.  Late autumn has arrived and the farm has been put to bed for the season.  Except for the greenhouse which thrives with buckhorn, arugula, radicchio, and escarole.  We are rich with parsely and thyme, and we are suddenly rich with that other Time as well.  We are in Paris which could be defined as a suspension of Time. 

While we have departed from our normal cares and responsibilities, we are still followed by ritual.  And I don't mean only us.  We are all followed, or even haunted by ritual, even when we have detached from our usual universe and landed ourselves somewhere foreign.  We all crave the unknown or the new, yet we yearn for what has been and what will continue to be.  The first thing Caleb and I do when we arrive in this city, for we have had the good luck to arrive here often, is buy flowers.  Paris, of course, is rich with flowers, just like we are rich with parsley and thyme.  For many, it might be ritual enough to just buy flowers, any kind of flowers.  But our ritual also involves what kind of blossoms we procure because they are always the same blossoms: ranunculus.  The only departure here might be the color of those flowers depending on the time of year and the mood.  

I've been buying ranunculus in this city for the last fifteen years, which somehow feels like a millenium.  Maybe that's because in those fifteen years we have crossed a millenium.  And I remember well the origin of this ritual, which was before the end of one millenium and the start of another. Caleb and I had come to Paris together after I had finished graduate school.  After a week, he had to return to work at the restaurant and I stayed on in the city to complete some research.  I watched him wave good-bye with bags in hand and descend down the metro stairs at the Place Voltaire.  The place suddenly opened into a wide plane full of everything and nothing.  Behind me was a flower shop.  I bought a bunch of yellow ranunculus to take back to the apartment I had taken for the month.  Ever since, every sojourn in Paris begins with a handfull of the papery double blossoms akin to both roses and anenomes.

Yesterday, we bought magenta ranunculus from one of the fleuriste on rue Cler. We departed the street with bags of chipoltalas sausages, white beans, leeks, a raw milk tomme, a bottle of wine in one hand, the cone of flowers in the other.  We have arrived.



Vermont Wine Media said...

Only one bottle of wine?

Deirdre and Caleb said...

Okay, so we're still jetlagged! Working on it!