My Gaulish warrior is here.

Topknot fastened as usual when he works, he coaxes wild allium out of the flower bed and quietly removes clover; he spies snails and removes them to safer grounds. His movements are unhurried, sure, methodical.

We work on opposite side of the flowerbed.

He tells me about errant turtles he has found recently; an escaped parrot that showed up one day around his home and stayed for two years; a strange rat that used to live right in the bougainvillea, practically above our heads where we are working, years ago, when my mom was still alive.

I ask him about the cry of night birds that sounds so mechanical I am not at all sure it’s a bird.

“Ah! You are hearing our local owls sending invitations to each other up and down the hills,”  he says as he looks up at me, a smile in his eyes the color of pine bark when the sun is almost gone behind the mountain. His head slightly tilted to the side, he waits for another question or reply.

“How big are they?” I ask.

“They are hard to see, let alone catch… but I have seen one a while back. They are about this big” he says spreading the air vertically between his hands about a foot, placing the bird in one palm and sheltering its head with the other.

I nod. He looks comfortable crouching on the grass, in his element, and as I watch his hands holding the imaginary bird, then go back to gently pulling at weeds, convincing them to give up bulb and roots, I recognize the gesture of a healer in a blink of Time’s warp and weft.

Petitd uc scops

Petit-duc scops – Photo : Christophe Sidamon-Pesson

About emmylgant

Cloud watcher and dreamer sometimes wise, often foolish, but I am what I am.
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20 Responses to Conversation

  1. ‘a smile in his eyes the color of pine bark when the sun is almost gone behind the mountain’!
    Tu es vraiment quelquechose d’autre!


    • emmylgant says:

      Merci UnElephant. Je suis contente de t’avoir surpris avec une de mes expressions et, a mon tour, je suis surprise par ton enthousiasme, mais je m’en rejouis. 🙂


  2. PapaBear says:

    Em, I am a gardener now, and I identify completely with your “gaulish warrior” . Care of plants and flowers brings a certain insight and gentleness to the soul. Was not always that way. Really enjoyed this post.


    • emmylgant says:

      Thank you Paul. There is something about having our hands in dirt that is very healing. I think it is difficult for a gardener not to be a bit of a poet. My Gallic warrior is a bard, definitely in the finest storytelling tradition.


  3. dcardiff says:

    So much peace with nature, convincing weeds to give up bulb and root. Definitely a healer.
    I loved spending time, in the flowerbed, with both of you.



  4. You conjure up a bucolic idyll like no other


  5. themodernidiot says:

    Wow, these chouettes are chouettes! I want a Tengmalm to hug and squeeze and love, and I want a moyen-duc to scare small children with.


  6. arjaybe says:

    I like to see the pictures, whether drawn plainly or by metaphors. I like both simplicity and subtlety, especially together. I’m not a gardener, but I know one.-)



    • emmylgant says:

      You would like this Gallic warrior. He is a man of few words, curious, self-taught and very observant. He loves what he does, the best job in the world, and has yet to meet an animal bigger than an aphid that he doesn’t like.
      I am glad you enjoyed the conversation. Thank you.


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