Summer Solstice in the Himalayas

Today we are celebrating summer solstice. Dozens of floating and flickering candles guided us along the path leading to the old house. Its facade garlanded with multicolored lightbulbs sparkles gently like a Christmas tree in the twilight glow. Tables and barrels of oak are arranged everywhere in the garden, under the illuminated trees too.

At the inn, everyone brought their famous salad items, which a crispy quiche, and the secret dessert recipe and bottles, dozens of bottles of red, white, rose wine. A circle has already formed around the barbecue and the tray overflow with sausages. Another group is playing puck in the candlelight aisle. A white cloth was mounted near the brand new garage that replaced the decrepit cabin.

Under the tent, on a table, Ana had books to give or exchange and invited us to add ours. Beside, there are photo albums, memories of all these anniversaries celebrated together. Everyone can take one by leaving, the one he prefers. A raffle has also been set up. Each guest puts a piece of paper with his name in a hat. Against the wall, near the entrance door, stands a painting. The one whose name will be drawn will leave with it.

But while strolling through the tangled garden, a veritable labyrinth of plants, one discovers other paintings in an open-air exhibition, at the bend of a tree or a swing, against the toboggan of the little one or along the henhouse. In the orchard, there is the one, marvelous, which represents a matrix tree of a fetus that feeds it with its thousands of ramifications. The tree of life, stand firmly and proudly towards the light, surrounded by water and insolent mountains, and other unchanging forces of nature.

Friends keep coming. They are numerous. There are the old and new friends, the family and the children who run like young puppies in freedom. Music and wine flow afloat. The discussions too. They are banal, inconsistent and lack humor and derision. People always talk about themselves in the end. I listen to music and watch Ana slaloming between the small groups that have formed. She took care of herself finally, went to the hairdresser to restore a civilized look to her crazy locks.

Some redheads have rebelled anyway and lick her cheeks, maliciously. The hairdresser applies a hint of blush, mascara, to she who never wears makeup. And lipstick. It looks good said the hairdresser. It is necessary that the color contrasts with her complexion but not too much. To hide the fragility of her body that abandons her, she put on several layers of colorful clothes, bedecked, and a sparkling smile on her face.

She walks briskly to prevent her treacherous leg from shaking. She seems happy to have gathered around herself the whole tribe of her life. Today everything is a gift.

I remember this already deep autumn afternoon, golden and dry. The trees clawed the sky with their thin, gnarled arms, shivering in their pale, light-colored robes that were frayed and scattered in the wind. The floor was swollen with a carpet of shimmering rust breathing gently. Some leaves, butterflies of coppery honey, ocher and earth of Siena escaped, circled and fluttered to come flattening, still throbbing, against the bushes.

The vegetable patch overflowed with chubby cabbage and pumpkins that let their broad leaves run and curl their creeping tendrils. An old bicycle was rusting near the abandoned barbecue. Ana was already moving too much. She spoke incessantly and laughed too hard, as if she had to fill the space around her, creating an invisible barrier. So that we do not get too close.

She seemed as frail as a leaf that a breath of air would have been enough to flutter, but her drawn face and her hollow eyes were determined. Nothing was too heavy, too big for her. She had undertaken to empty the hut, full of junk that would go to the dump or be burned in the garden. Her daughter was helping her, who had wrapped her newborn baby in a cocoon scarf on her back, Indian style.

The sweet burden, fortunately snuggled, seemed to be part of her body. Only crinkled eyes were visible under a cap that was too wide. Around them, it was a well-balanced ballet that twirled with activity. But there they were, dressed in old parkas, big shapeless sweaters, worn jeans and rubber boots full of dirt. They were at their business, armed with shovels, pickaxes, spades, rakes, shears, gas cans, wheelbarrows, stakes, chainsaws, mowers, hedge trimmers and trimmers.

In this somewhat forced agitation, I felt helpless. Their efficiency paralyzed me. I had always had trouble getting into a group naturally. I did not know how to make myself useful, what could be my place in this already choreographed dance. I could not get rid of the unfounded feeling of being intrusive. I was not part of that inner circle of loved ones, the close circle of the day, the reality, the brutally grown children, the children's friends, the coworkers.

I belonged more to the nocturnal sphere, the one where one abandons his social role, that of the game of forgetting the heaviness of everyday life, of the ethyl and musical escape to sleepless nights to reinvent an ideal future. I did not know how to use these tools. I have never lived in the countryside.

The gardens are for me great mysteries, spaces to dream watching grass grow and giving names of animals odd shapes of trees whose name I do not know. This garden is huge and wonderfully disheveled. Nothing is tidy, we could get lost. It is a blessed kingdom for a child, a virgin forest where to hide and imagine a pirate clearing an unknown land on a raft of planks under the giant ferns.

It's her kingdom too. She spent hours there, tirelessly weeding, escaping into one of her waking dreams, dreamily moving the discolored carapace of a crab memory of a summer, a shine of pottery brought back from Morocco, all those little pebbles that had punctuated the path of their life.

I leaned over the flowers. I remembered the names of the prettiest ones, those that flourish at this time of little death. I had auscultated a delicate blue clematis planted recently, surrounded by shells. Further on, another thought of the day half-effaced by the rain under the cyclamen of Naples, which began to point their pale purple face.

The multicolored stars of the asters were spread around a twisted cherry tree, also enhanced with patina and disparate pieces of mosaics, small wooden carvings created by the children, forgotten toys colonized by moss and ivy, shells of oysters or semi-fossilized mussels. To these small treasures, I had added my penny. A small slate-gray pebble veined with white, like a calligraphy inscription in an unknown language.

It was oval-shaped and flattened with edges softened by the incessant rubbing of the sand carried by the tides in the vast cauldron of the sea. I had picked it up thinking of it, tossed, kneaded, modified, transformed by life as this anonymous pebble among the thousands of pebbles carried by the marine world.

It was soft and warm in my palm, buried in the pocket of my jacket, weighing it down, much less heavy than his pain. By placing it there precisely, I wanted to modestly add a new verse to the poetic writing of this garden of a generous and disordered exuberance that resembled him so much. That was so much like them.

I ended up wondering how the trimmer worked. I was determined to enhance these small beads of light, to chisel them a beautiful case to try to rekindle his eyes. A little. It was a solitary activity and patience. Like to make a puzzle. It was all right, I was going at my pace. The purring of the small engine enveloped me and isolated me, allowing my thoughts to wander freely.

From time to time, a fluffy hen or cat would take a curious look, before wandering away or flowing smoothly to other equally interesting and unusual shows in their familiar jungle. A little later, I had bypassed the strange edifice of timbers blackened by time, planted in a corner of the ground, overgrown with brambles and climbing plants. A mini Inca temple, a miraculous fountain, a mausoleum for the escaped fairies of Broceliande, a remnant watchtower?

To watch what, what danger came from the depths of the Middle Ages or a Celtic legend? He wanted to make it his wine cellar, I remember it. Meanwhile, the place was still impregnated with the whispers of all the children who came to hide there, inventing the roles of knights or sorcerers. Behind, spread a meadow that men had undertaken to clear.

Branches were piling up at the end of the ground, which now looked like a molehill, a strange, tiny village of triangular huts set in the Indian fashion. No, the moles were not for nothing. But those little earthy teepees made me think of what was said about his paintings. He liked simple shapes, the square representing the human, the round the life and the triangle, the tent of the free nomad traveling with his family-tribe under his arm, following the wind.

The men had dug, dug, shoveled, to plant the fruit trees that would form an orchard of life. The young plants were there, unloaded from the trailer, wisely lined up near the holes with their name tags. Apple, pear, cherry, plum. So small, so frail. We had formed a circle to plant the first, which would symbolize rebirth or continuity.

A tree of life for the one who loved them so much, a sacred vehicle between the light of the sky and the darkness of the ground. A last hello to the one who had left too early, whose journey had stopped there and which was the link uniting this disparate assembly. The moment was a little solemn, heavy with emotion, each one recollecting himself in his own way, entered into himself, silent.

Suddenly the shaggy kitten had happily tumbled down, pursuing the furious red cat, followed by the slower, clumsy stride of the old dog whose tail whipped our legs. The chickens arrived in their turn, nonchalant, followed by the pigeon that had adopted them. What is happening here ? Can we participate? It was then that the baby, now warm on the maternal belly, buried in a fringed shawl, had woken up.

On his little face, smooth and round like an apple, his cherry mouth had begun to coo little aaaa, while his myopic gaze sought to hang that of his mother. This unexpected sequence of manifestation of powerful, gushing life, had acted upon us as a sign and a signal. We all started laughing and dancing around the so promising branch. I will remember this moment of incredible grace for a long time.

Today is the summer solstice, the longest day of the year. Or the shortest night of the year. It's the feast of the sun, its infinite course in space and its victory over the darkness. An immemorial pagan festival that brings men together in the same joyous rite in honor of nature and the rhythm of time. Everywhere in the world, huge pyres are being set up that are flaring up and rushing towards the sky, like thousands of stars spinning to meet the celestial stars.

Fires of oaths to hold, fires of the harvest to come. One jumps over the flames to purify oneself or show one's pleasure. One dances around hoisted masts and woven of greenery. The young girls pick nine flowers of the different fields and place them under their pillow in the hope of seeing in dream the love of their life,

Tonight we are celebrating the light of summer. We lit a bonfire next to the apple tree that starts giving its first flowers. We decorated it with multicolored ribbons that gently fly in the night breeze. We dance and laugh again around the tree, to the rhythm of nocturnal sounds.

 Himalaya, the Best Summer Vacation Destination in India wallpapers

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