Thursday, March 20, 2008
On this first day of Spring, 2008, a day early or not, I offer a brief note to acknowledge better times and dryer weather ahead...
On our big around-the-world adventure 20-plus years ago, Sandie and I (and various of our kids) spent the winter of 1986-87 holed up in the south of Portugal, in the region known as the Algarve--incredibly scenic pitted rocky cliffs, lovely beaches with working fishing villages nearby, Mediterranean-style white stucco buildings, too many Brit tourists, and so much more.
Last year, on May 28, but deriving from that most excellent Portuguese sojourn, I posted a lengthy, largely historical poem about Cabo de Sao Vicente (Cape St.Vincent), thought of as "The End of the World" back in seafaring times. Here's a much shorter lyric about the unheralded, early arrival of Spring, 1987...
Early February in the Algarve
The sea mints coins of silver light;
Blossoms salve each prickly branch;
Skittish clouds shy and collide:
Spring has taken Centianes.
Scent of almonds, fizz of bees.
Green bands stripe each clay-pot hill.
The sky regains its blue-tile glaze,
And every clover bed plumps full.
Donkeys haul bright produce bins.
Small boats trawl for cod and sole.
Tourists flee their white-snow dens,
Searching for some fado soul.
The heart in hiding stirs at last,
Sidles out in shadowed sun,
Darts back inside its leaden chest.
Six more weeks? ...but Winter's gone.