Prosecards from the Edge (of a Continent)

A running commentary on my life in Izmir, Turkey...and other thoughts.

Friday, June 01, 2007

A Summer Dance

Over here, summer is making tentative inroads into spring. It performs a lazy kind of cha-cha, two steps forward, one back; one day you're certain summer has taken up permanent residence, but the next day spring, with its short-tempered chilly gusts and flitting clouds, charges in and retakes its throne. Still, summer's army makes its inexorable advance...toes fight free from closed-toe foot boxes and begin to make more frequent and less furtive appearances in sandals; long-sleeves almost imperceptibly creep up, giving way to three-quarter; three-quarters to T's, and one day the eye comes to rest on the pile of silky, sleeveless tanks waiting breathlessly to be taken for a spin in the soft, sunshiny air.

The sea is calmer these days, the wind gentler; the angry wild whitecaps that crashed over the breakwater weeks ago seem to have spent their fury. Am I imagining things, or do even the seagulls scold each other in more dulcet tones these days? My tiny tomato plant seedlings are doubling in size nearly daily, prompting Jack-and-the-Beanstalk fantasies. They stretch their tender leaves out off the ledge of my (unhappily) east-facing balcony, soaking up every last drop of sunlight before it vanishes over the top of the building at midday. It is a mellow time -- before the heavy, sweating months of July and August, but beyond the chill of winter and spring. White gauze curtains sway drowsily in an afternoon breeze while birds twitter in the pomegranate tree of the garden below. Street animals doze in shaded doorways. Their faces are not yet overtaken by the look of suffering they will acquire some months from now, and if one is prone to anthropomorphizing, one might be inclined to believe that they are thinking 'This is the good life. Sigh...With all this fur, August is gonna be a killer.'

In the open air market and on pushcarts on shady street corners, where vendors perched on tiny stools sip tea and wait, ruby-red cherries have begun to make an appearance. The melons are arriving, too...not yet the dripping, unbelievable sugary sweet they will be a month or two from now, but still good, and eagerly purchased and consumed after months of winter privation. Lemons are cheap and abundant. We bought a sackful, and I made fresh lemonade. I sit on the balcony at our tiny table, sipping the sweet-tart brew, listening to the man in the streets below hawking his wares (Simit! Gevrek! Boyoz!) and tapping away at my aging laptop. The serenity is lovely, makes one overcome with drowsiness. More breeze, more birdsong, the casual sounds of carpets being beaten out on balconies across the way, the clatter of teacups from the apartment downstairs, the distant horn of the ferry about to depart. Uykum geldi, they say in Turkish. My sleep has come.


At 6:06 PM, Blogger Hope said...

What a lovely entry Kate! I reminds me of lazy afternoons in Italy spent sipping wine at sidewalk cafe's with my friends.

I need to look at a map, but how far north are you in Turkey?

I've been so busy trying to get the new web site together; it has quite been consuming me. So much to do, the new story, a new blog for the web site, the boards, working on the book version for WMHD! WHEW!!! No wonder I'm tired. And I thought it was just cuz I'm getting old...

At 10:50 AM, Blogger Kate's Blog said...

Thanks, Hope, you made my day! :-) Glad I was able to bring back some good memories for you, too. That's one thing I miss, actually -- good, inexpensive wine. We have some pretty good local wines here, but they're a bit pricey, so we tend to go for beer.

Location-wise, Izmir is on the west coast, about halfway between Turkey's northern-most and southern-most latitudes. This link should take you to an overview map so you can see exactly where we are.

Sounds like you have been fiendishly busy lately! But very exciting stuff, getting to work on something close to your heart. When is the new blog scheduled to make an appearance? I wish you all the very, very best in your career as a Published Author. Congratulations!

At 5:04 PM, Blogger Hope said...

thanks for the map Kate. How wonderful for you to be on the coast, I do so envy that!

Yes, things are hectic. We've mostly got the web site done, with a few exceptions. G-man will soon have the Word and Adobe versions of WMHD up and I've been working on content. This morning I've been trying to get a new story up, written by Sarah about she and Adam's trip to Africa, but I'm having trouble getting it linked properly. So hopefully he'll get a chance to look at it this morning. The newest blog is up functioning, but it's not a story blog. But it is a fun one I think.

Whew! What a mouthful, huh?


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