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June 30, 2012 / annakpf11

Long Barn Summer

“Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror. Just keep going. No feeling is final.”

—Rainer Maria Rilke (1875—1926)

Hard to believe it’s only been three months since we landed here. Seems like much longer, partly because the process of uprooting and then resettling involves so much more than the mere physical transfer of goods and self; partly because the friendliness of our little village makes us feel as if we’ve lived here for ages, and partly because the surrounding countryside has undergone such change in that short time—from winter-bare branches to full-throated blooming—like some giant secret garden, pulsing to life.

In April, fields of bright lemon Rapeseed illuminate the landscape.

In May, Bluebells hover in the woods like mist rising from the ground. 

Hawthorne comes into flower, white and pink lace in the hedgerows.

Lowell and Marj arrive at Long Barn in time to marvel along with us at the wonders of an English spring.

Their presence is a baptism of sorts for our new home, and we are deeply grateful they have crossed the Atlantic to visit. If only they could move in next door!

The solstice approaches. Every tree clothed in every imaginable shade and hue of green, every shrub and vine vying for the prize of most exotic bloom. Grass swirls thigh-high in the meadows and our lawn seems to grow three inches in a day.

Dawn filters through the bedroom curtains at 4:30 a.m., and daylight lingers long after dinner.

Silva, Isabelle and Elsa arrive just before the longest day.

Knowing they’ve breathed in this place with us makes our life here more complete.

Now it is July. Elderflowers appear in the hedgerows, delicate blossoms the color of pale butter. I wade through the field of tall grass behind Long Barn and harvest enough flower heads to make two jars of Elderflower liqueur.

A way to remember this summer, when winter comes to Long Barn.

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