A Return to Sea and Sun
(I have books for you to read!)
In the last ten days, I have been joined by old friends: the salt-tang of the ocean carried on powerful, iodine-strong winds, the sun a force, capable of burning quickly, the roar of waves an ancient lullaby. The nights are cool, the days warm, the land surprisingly green and already covered in flowers; flashes and banks of yellow, pebble-dash of pinks and reds. Here, farmers are already harvesting and baling grass, there a shepherd tends sheep or goats.
Citrus splashes cover verdant small trees, oranges and clementines dotted everywhere, often fallen and rolled, ditches and dips full of gathered sweet balls, unclaimed, rotting. Lemons are equally common, sometimes almost too large to be believed, their yellow so obvious it is a colour of its very own.
Bamboo tracks the waterways, here and there giant stacks have been collected, bundles of canes to be used later in Spring. The cork oak trunks are a spectrum, darkest where they have most recently been peeled, lighter where time has passed and a new cover awaits silently, to seal the wine or port of many miles of vineyards.
I am learning this language, the language of a landscape that feels ancient and lived-in — how fields are maintained, how there is space for nature above the terraces, in between settlements, or on the long coastal edge. Portugal feels full of stories; old stories and new, whispers of tales to come. It is into this land that we venture, seeking a home, filling in the gaps in our knowledge. The land whispers back, tells us what we need to hear, and we listen.