By Heidi Trautmann
Tiny birds come visiting the orange candle blossoms of
Aloe Vera on my terrace opposite my writing desk to drink its sweet juice and
sometimes a robin joins them to say hello to me, flirting obviously to catch my
attention, we know each other. From the
birds’ activities my eyes wander further on to the horizon where I know Turkey;
in this clear morning light you can see the mountain range covered in snow. It
is an early January morning, sun had just got up and I am captivated by this
very special moment of stillness.
It is supposed to be winter, to be the rainy season to
fill the island’s reservoirs with water for the next season, to develop enough
cold to reduce the growth of harmful insects, and for the trees and plants to
throw off leaves before the new ones start growing. No, at the moment we have a
sort of hybrid situation; while plants are reluctant to throw off the leaves
the new ones already start growing. Spring is ready to get off the starting blocks
and develops a kind of mating smell that enters our head and limbs. The soil is
wetted through deeply and the yellow sorrel has taken over the reign giving off
a juicy green atmosphere covering everything so you have to go down on your
knees to free the small plants from being overgrown and suffocated.
A great feeling it is to touch the rich moist soil. I
had bought two new roses for the ones that had died last year in the big dry
summer heat – last year was hard on most of the plants, even the oleander
bushes showed signs of giving up but small green tips prove that there is still
life in them. Fat worms turned up when
we were digging the holes for the roses. The roses are in best shape now,
healthy and full of blossoms, a wonderful sight; they usually have their last
blooming time end of October/November, but this season it is different, they
have them now in January. We will cut them down when strength has left them,
perhaps in early February.
We have developed a relationship to the living beings
in our garden, my husband and I, and while we wander through it we comment on
the growth each time we pass, some of the plants or trees have not shown any
progress since we planted them years ago. In our garden every little new shoot is
allowed to grow and is later replanted at a better place.
I had to go to Girne the other day, it was Saturday,
to attend the Russian children’s party for the award presentation following the
painting competition. The place was full with people walking through the
streets and everything somehow sparkled with excitement and the question stood
in their faces: Is this spring already? A soft breeze came from the sea, the
air was so clear and light and noises were magnified. It made us dizzy in the
head. The street cafés were full with people involved in animated
conversations, there was no tiredness around.
Along the waterfront anglers were trying their luck.
When we lived aboard our sailing boat years ago I used to join them sitting for
a while next to them and observing the patient play of throwing lines and
waiting for a fish to bite. Elderly people sitting there on the park benches
looking out to the horizon, also waiting for something.
What are they waiting for? I had met someone that
afternoon who had a restaurant right here where the Akpinar Café is today, he
told me…. for 25 years I was looking out onto the sea, I miss it, ahhh, times
are changing….and I feel the ghosts of the past in this funny early spring
Is winter over before it has begun, the long expected
rain, the thunderstorms bringing the floods into town like the other day within
not even one hour. But still, it was a lovely day full of promises.