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July 2019 Vol. 15 No. 2

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Patricia Prime (New Zealand) and Giselle Maya (France)

Easter Letters

Easter morning –
in the garden
see how the shadows
of the climbing roses
are all the same colour

Bonjour chère amie, Giselle,

I am writing this letter to you from a sunny Easter in New Zealand. My daughter and son-in-law are leaving their home in the far north to travel to Auckland for the holidays. There is only one road and it is always busy in the holiday periods. It winds over hills and through valleys, past small towns and farms, with traffic backed up for miles during the peak seasons. They are coming to stay with me to help my granddaughter and her fiancée select a venue for their forthcoming wedding in March.

The young couple are going to have a beach wedding and some guests will want to stay for the night as it’s a long road to the coast and they will not want to drive after the reception. Several of the venues have facilities for guests, camp sites, hostels or houses to rent.

When they arrive tired after the long drive, my family are ready to settle down to a pleasant dinner and to make their plans for the weekend. They are always keen to visit the art gallery, museum, cinema, shops or restaurants, as they do not have those facilities where they live in the countryside.

April shower
in the post from Japan
surprise gifts –
a colourful koi banner
and handwritten haiku

Adieu pour l ’instant,

Patricia

        * * *

Ma très chère Patricia,

for inspiration
I looked at Hokusai’s cherry trees
in bloom
off to market for two boxes
of luscious sweet strawberries

Up early to make the famous potato salad my mother made, with apple, pickles, eggs, parsley, freshly boiled potatoes, a salad, green asparagus, served with my daughter’s curcuma vegetable rice.

Set the table with a vase of deep purple dwarf iris and buttercups from the meadow. Up and out to practice chi gong en plein air and check the growth of snow peas in the potager. The apple trees are in bloom, the lilacs are opening white and mauve. Each time we go down to the garden we take the compost to its pile and cover it lightly with dry leaves and weeds. We had not seen each other for some time, so that there was much to share and discuss. Yet we spent quiet time as well, my daughter sat in meditation in the meadow while I watered some of the young plants that have sprouted after winter – peonies, roses, rosemary, sages all look healthy and are greening. I did the tai chi form I’ve known for so long, in all directions – towards the mountain, the wild lands in the foreground, the water basin and tiny red maple tree.

After lunch at my old stone house in the village with a view of the landscape towards Manosque, a short nap and a long animated visit on Skype with my son in California.

On Easter Monday we visited friends nearby who have just built a chicken house for black and white speckled chickens and a rooster and made a potager; we played ball with their little daughter Luna. In the late afternoon we went to a vernissage in Saignon at a 3-storey house restored as an inn and gallery, with fanciful cakes served in small slices to the visitors. This Easter passed pleasantly with conversations, silences and inquiries into the ancestors’ lives.

we discussed
the life of the great teacher
his kindness
and healing gifts
appreciated and admired

bien amicalement,

Giselle


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