Jun 25, 2009

Welcome to Summer

The weather here has been amazing hasn't it? Though it is not a Belgian tradition, this story is still funny and I thought I'd share it in honor of the arrival (and hopeful endurance) of summer here in Brussels.

Be it in honor of the harvest or the ancient traditions of the Occitan language, there is always a reason to celebrate in the Dordogne. When you live in a fairy tale, why not?!

On June 24, La Fete de St Jean heralds the arrival of Summer and one of the sweetest traditions of the Perigord is the making of crosses out of wild flowers that are then placed above entry door or on the barn door (to protect the livestock it is said).
This photo was taken by my friend Roland Manouvrier who made his own cross out of wild flowers. He was a bit miffed at his fellow St Leon neighbors who had not taken such care as he had. "Many of them just made the crosses from their garden flowers" he complained.

I asked him if it really mattered what kind of flowers one used. Wasn't the sentiment the same? Maybe people don't have time these days to search for wildflowers, I offered.

"NO!" was his response. "You must frolic in the hills and appreciate the liberty and freedom of finding the wild flowers".

Ah, life in a fairy tale.

Happy Summer! May you all frolic in fields of wildflowers and find your liberty.

To read more about the Dordogne, and our upcoming book, go to www.dordognestories.blogspot.com

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