Lavender, France’s Balm for the Soul

The lavender lingers on my sloping hillside, autumn rain running in rivulets between the dying leaves. At summer’s peak, the purple flowers tantalized the bees and butterflies and me, the glorious scent perfuming the air of evening and morning both. No lambs frolicked in the lavender this year, but maybe someday a friend’s weanlings will…

The Herbs in Spain Grow Mainly on the Plain

Many times when I walk through the nearby woods, I marvel at all the plants hiding under rotting logs and peeking out from the boulders. These plants, sharing the same earth and respiring the same air as we do, live and die nameless to most of us. How far away we’ve traveled from the days…

Of Herbs and Other Country Messes

When the  sage comes to life again, after its long, lonely slumber in the freezing winter, I always just stop for a moment and marvel. How could this happen? Left outside the kitchen door, the sage bows before the relentless blasts of icy winds and heavy snow. Its leaves and branches shrivel to skeletal silhouettes,…