Yesterday, was our final day in our house in Canada before we fly out to Switzerland. It was a busy day with a lot of last minute things to attend to: some repacking and re-weighing, a couple of phone calls with requisite wait times (one over three hours), a good amount of cleaning and tidying, some last minute donations, checking nooks and crannies for forgotten items, and triple checking documents. This didn’t leave a lot of time to enjoy what was there, though a few coffees were shared on the back porch in the morning.
In the afternoon, I decided to mow the lawn one final time. This summer we’ve had just the right weather conditions for the grass to grow with great vigour and the lawn has seen the blades of the mower way too frequently for my liking. I didn’t particularly enjoy this task when I first started, but I learned to appreciate the sensations it offered. As I rode around on the yard tractor I felt a yearning to walk around the property one last time. Once the mower was back in the garage, I took a long drink of cool water and set out.
I grew up in a temperate climate, in a home with a rich vegetable garden and fruit trees: plum, loquat, orange, mandarin orange, lemon and fig. There was never any shortage of nature’s bounty to pick and consume right then and there. Even in the winter we had onions, broad beans, leafy greens, broccoli, and kale which found their way to our evening dinner table.
Here, in the True North, the growing season is short, it is early in the season yet, and the real harvest is still to come. Nevertheless, it was time to go and search. I first stopped at a rather sickly looking potted cherry tomato and popped the only ripe fruit I could find into my mouth. From there I walked to the mulberry and picked one of the few remaining morsels, then to the raspberry patch, which was past its prime but still offered some of that wonderful tang on the tongue. A few short steps saw me at the self-seeded zucchini and field tomato plants which had only just come into flower. I remembered how my mother would pick the zucchini flowers and stuff them with seasoned rice, but there was no time for that now.
Unfortunately, the grapes were still unripe, and the five apple trees were just setting fruit. However, the Asian Pear tree was loaded with ripe, juicy offerings. I could have been greedy, but took just one before heading down to the columnar pear tree at the bottom of the hill. I hadn’t seen pears on this tree before but, on this day, I looked up and saw one ready for the picking. I don’t know what kind of pear it was, but I know it was delicious. All-in-all, I only took about half an hour of time, but it was a half an hour where I escaped all the must-do’s and found myself blissfully content.
I’m a little sad for us to be leaving this behind and moving into an apartment, though,there may well be food to forage at the foot of The Alps. If not there, then we arrive at just the right time to head into the mountains proper, just below the tree line and pick the wild blueberries.
Regardless, when we do arrive, I think one of the first things we might do is go and buy a few pots, some soil and some seeds, and set up our own little garden on the balcony. I have no idea what this might look like, but I look forward to finding out.