lilies of the valley
April 22, 2013
fair is the lily-of-the-valley
Coming back East and finding blue skies and cool temperatures was a welcome. The seasonal boundaries are markers just as are the snowdrops and lilies-of-the-valley. They are markers I understand and know how to calculate from. (Once the snowdrops appear then winter is on its way out; once the lilies-of-the-valley sprout then sharp fragrances, green leaves and May flowers will fill the void.)
In my family there’s an expression – cal’a pasta, literally drop the pasta in the boiling water. (The old Calabrese is so much more elegant with its internal rhyme and brevity than the translation.) It let us know that the guests had arrived and that supper was imminent. The snowdrops and the lilies-of-the-valley let me track time; they let me know how to think about March and April, about winter ending and spring beginning. This method of tracking is old. It’s from a time of church-bells announcing the Angelus at noon, of fave announcing spring, of hill-top towns using sun-dials. It’s a medieval system that lingered in post-war Calabria. It’s my circadian rhythm in a digital time.