Fig leaf and art

Today’s walk was fun.

Carob harvest is in full swing, although many trees are not being harvested, as they once were, and much of the chatter amongst the three neighbours also walking today was about the stories so far this season.

Carobs are not the only things ripening (strangely this year, with lingering green (but called “yellow” in Portuguese) pods among the ripe brown ones. Figs, too, are ripening, and there are many trees on the roadside of our daily route.

My landlady loves picking fruit as we walk. When almonds are in season, she often stops and cracks open a couple with the aid of a small rock; until recently the plum tree which hangs over my roadside fence had rich pickings too.

Today she picked a few figs, as did I, on the outward journey. When we returned, she suddenly presented me with a pouch made from a fig leaf and held together with a “pin”; a dry stalk from a blade of grass. When she was young, they used pouches fashion thus to collect bramble berries (also found on our route), a favourite of hers.

image
Fig-leaf pouch: 15 x 9 cm, excluding stalk of 5 cm. Diameter at opening is 9 cm.

 

I immediately put the carob pod I had picked up off the ground, together with the one fig I was holding. She put another fig in the pouch. I suppose I could have fitted at least three more in it. You simply hold it by the stalk; it is quite strong. She told me that kids these days don’t know any of these things, and continued to tell me about something on TV recently where teenage schoolchildren apparently did not know who painted the Mona Lisa.

©2018 Allison Wright

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