A gift

a gift of lemons

While I was in the garden this morning covering the strawberry plants and the broad bean shoots with le voile d’hivernage to protect them from the cold nights that are forecast for this week, our neighbour gave me these lemons from his tree.  He’s one of our oldest friends in the village, the first who welcomed us here ten years ago, and his gift made me very happy to be part of this community and its cultural and linguistic mix.  It’s a village where I can have three conversations in three different languages – Occitan, Spanish and French – in the 50-metre walk from my house to the shops and where languages are spoken, discussed, enjoyed and compared in conversations at the market stalls, where as well as the more familiar local Occitan words and the Spanish words used by many of the inhabitants I can chip in with examples, matches and counter-meanings in Welsh and English.  It’s a village whose population appreciates the traditions and histories that brought them all together, the past feeding into the present and on into the living future, a place where diversity is valued, where the big picture is noted, world events and concerns discussed, but where it’s also recognised that we are all small pieces of the huge and colourful mosaic that makes up humanity.  This morning’s gift of light made me so glad to be here.

6 thoughts on “A gift

  1. I understand exactly what you mean about the languages, and I used to chip in with examples of how the English was similar etc etc. Do I sound envious? (Maybe just a little!)

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