Easter holiday

April 14, 2010

Hello šŸ™‚

I have been away from the computer for a while,

Enjoying a timid Spring awakening in the Alps,

Sunny walks along mountain tracks,

Exuberant birds’ songs at all hours.

Quiet reading and sewing,

Happy meals with family and friends,

A pause at Easter, a time to reflect

While wondering at Nature’s revival

And new inner paths.

Eggs, you find them everywhere around Easter timeĀ  ! Mostly chocolate eggs over here šŸ˜‰Ā Ā  Not all though; those are carved in variousĀ  semiprecious stones fromĀ  Madagascar. I got them as I lived in this great island and visitedĀ Ā  market places, craftsmen’ workshops.

You may be interested in reading a few lines about eggs and their symbolism


Almost every day during Easter time, I walked along a narrow irrigation canal (the local name is “bisse”). Sometimes on wooden paths or bridges, but mostly on mountain tracks barely freed from snow. The very first flowers were blooming on the dry slopes. Delightful !

Sewing and reading, two of my favorite hobbies. The “grandmother flowers’ garden” is still growing and blooming… since it is sewed by hand, I like to bring it along wherever I travel and I added quite a few hexagonal flowers. Spring mood and also the wish to see this quilt finished at last. A low table has been waiting to be covered for… quite a while.

In my favourite second-hand bookstore I found a wonderful book by Alice Munro (Ontario, Canada): “Open Secrets”. Shorts stories about women that take place over several generations fromĀ  1850s to the present, from Canada to Australia, the Balkans and France. Unconventional women who never wanted to be contained. I so enjoyed each story!Ā  AliceĀ  Munr0’s writing is simply superb. Her charactersĀ  never leave you.Ā  I already know that I will read more of her.

“In the mountains, in Maltsia e madhe, she must have tried to tell them her name, and “Lottar” was what they made of it. She had a wound in her leg, from a fall on sharp rocks when her guide was shot. She had a fever. How long did it took them to carry her through the mountains, bound up in a rug and strapped to a horse’s back, she had no idea”…

(First lines of “The Albanian Virgin”, a short story by A. Munro – just to make you feel like knowing more…)

How about you, what are you reading right now ?


16 Responses to “Easter holiday”

  1. Gerry said

    Isa, this is a beautiful post, filled with treasures. My favorite is the narrow boardwalk, because I would like to explore that path.

    Alice Munro is a fine writer. Her stories live on a shelf right next to Margaret Atwood. My bedside book just now is Aldo Leopold’s Sand County Almanac. Again!

  2. Merci Gerry :)Boardwalks are very useful and secure to walk on but don’t look down ! they are usually built at the side of steep slopes or rocks, when no other path is available. I looked at a Sand County Almanac, 1989. What a fascinating book, lovely sketches too. April is mentioned for high water, draba (the smallest flower) and bur oak, all very interesting to know about. Wonderful reading, Gerry !

  3. Kathy said

    Isa, this post made me feel calm and peaceful, simply reading it. I am now reading a novel called “Fieldwork” by Mischa Berlinski. It was a National Book Award Finalist and somebody on-line (can’t remember who!) recommended it. So far it’s pretty intriguing.

    • Hello Kathy, all is well with you, I hope. I am glad you felt calm and peace reading this post. This is how I felt myself up there in the mountains, taking a day at a time and enjoying the slow awakening of Spring after a long cold Winter. I read the critics of “Fieldwork”, sounds good ! Nice to be immersed in a totally different environment even only for the time of your reading.

  4. Carsten said

    Welcome back Isa. Thanks for spreading some left over relaxing spirit from your easter pause. Your picture mosaics are beautiful – as is your patchwork.
    I’m not reading at the moment. For myself, I mean. I have a lot of reading at work.
    It is a bit strange that you are reading a book by a woman from Ontario. My mother was born in Winnipeg, Ontario.

  5. Thanks for your words, Carsten, I am glad if your felt some relaxing spirit in this post :)it was indeed very serene and nature-oriented. Yes, what a coincidence about my reading of Canadian/Ontario Alice Munro’s short stories. Maybe now, after the first busy weeks/months of all sorts of arrangements, you feel more the loss of your mother. That was what I experienced. Now then comes the time of memories, happy souvenirs of special moments spent together. I hope so for you.

    • Carsten said

      You are right Isabelle. My father died on the 16th of April.He wanted us to have roast pork and beer after the funeral ceremony. So we had, and my mother served this meal for all the family on that day every year since. Yesterday I had all my brothers and my own family for that meal.
      It is a good tradition. And a good time for remembering.

      • I like these traditions that help remember our loved ones, rituals that are a mark in time and in our lives. My mother died 2 days before Christmas, she used to prepare a special meal too, precisely for Christmas. It is my turn now to reunite the family and prepare this meal. She would love that.

  6. ancientcloth said

    Thank you for sharing the information
    about eggs. I learned some new things šŸ™‚
    The scenery is lovely and your quilt
    colors/fabric beautiful.
    I just finished a book by one of my
    favorite authors, Lynn Andrews. The
    book is called Shakkai. I am starting
    a new book called Committed by
    Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat,Pray,and Love).

    • Thank you ancientcloth šŸ™‚ I don’t know Lynn Andrews’s books but I simply loved E. Gilbert “Eat, Pray and Love”. All three parts. A wonderful woman and writer. Tell me what you think of the book later on, OK ? Have a great reading.

  7. I think Alice Munro is a wonderful writer. Right now I am reading a collection of short stories by Amy Bloom called A Blind Man Can See How Much I Love You.

    • Hello Tammy ! Yes, Alice Munro is a superb writer and I so enjoy the way she shows the extraordinary in a seemingly ordinary life. I have never read anything by Amy Bloom, maybe I can find one of her books in my bookstore over here. Thanks for sharing and have a lovely Sunday.

  8. giiid said

    Hi Isa. Your post is so harmonious, and plesant to read. It represent a wide range of posetive energy from so many different activities;like traditions, poems, old quilt, reading books, walking in the alps…I realy enjoyed reading it.

    What am I reading right now…I have to admit, that I am reading in many books at the same time, and just a little bit. There are so many interestin books and too little time to read them.

    • Hello giiid and thank you for your appreciation. I am glad you liked this post. I am like you in the way I read, several books at a time. One in French, one in English (not to forget the language and to keep discovering new authors), one book that needs more time to read and reflect. There is always one that I read quicker than the others šŸ˜‰

  9. June said

    The Book sounds like a wonderful read, and there must be life beyond our writing of it, and its good to see you living and writing and enjoying all around you.

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