Seasons and Memory.
Whispers and Seaglass.
No place has but four seasons, and Alentejo is no different. Summer, yes, of course it is, but it is no longer the days of the wildflower-rich, high-sun summer, nor the screaming swift summer, nor the misty haar-wreathed nights summer. Now is the time for the wind, for warning of extreme fire risk, of small but perfectly succulent blackberries, bursting with flavour, of the nights cooling, and the ever-swelling green globes of the next crop of oranges, hiding in plain sight. This is the summer which whispers of autumn.
The swifts have gone. For a few weeks their numbers had halved, the adults bidding tchau! to their progeny, leaving them to swoop and swallow, to carve the air with new wings, calling to their classmates and then, suddenly, disappear themselves. When this happened, I am unsure. I just noticed they were all gone on the 1st of August, the skies still speckled with swallows and martins, but silent of swifts. The summer whispers of autumn.