Posts Tagged ‘le vent d’Autan’

“Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! rage! blow!”

…and so it did for two days, needing no exhortation from a King Lear heading for madness.

It’s called le vent (wind) d’Autan–the name is obscure but seems to suggest a bye-gone age (autrefois–other times); its force is primeval, outrageous, unreasonable. It blows from the south-east and in principle is a warm wind–but that implies some degree of benevolence on its part.

It doesn’t feel that way as it tears into the newly-leafed trees, shaking them so violently that our judas (redbud) for one, lost a large branch, in a brutal unnatural pruning.

They put up with it, survive and stand today uncomplaining while Nature is admitting nothing.

“Moi?” she seems to be saying.

It drives people mad (ça peut vous rendre fou), like the Mistral, (it’s better-known cousin in Provence) and can blow for a week.

According to our neighbour, René (brother of Alice the beekeeper), old folk say that if it blows on Palm Sunday it will be a windy year.

This year it blew on Palm Sunday.

The countryside is calm again–but the wind has blown so deafeningly for two days that  hearing a cuckoo and the percussion of dueling woodpeckers on my morning walk was a shock!

I had grown accustomed to the “rage”.

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