The weather this week has been both gentle and elemental. Around dawn, Thursday morning, could be heard a distant rumbling of thunder in the mountains across the valley; an exciting herald of storm. The lightning was spectacular: every crack a thrilling shock; nature exerting her inexhaustible power. The ensuing spots of rain, always welcome: large, slow drops on the stone and concrete, circles radiating out on the surface of the blue pool. Then excitingly heavier, making the air smell fresh, green, earthy.
This is why the volcanic soil of the Almanzora valley continues being so fertile, so rich; perfect growing conditions for the citrus, almond and olive groves. Today there is a cooling breeze: it is never sweltering or uncomfortable; not yet, anyway!
Friday, on my way out in the car, I passed lemon gatherers on a grove near the house: a group of nine or ten wiry, swarthy men with strong, leathery hands braving the thorny trees to pluck the gleaming yellow fruits; in traditional fashion with no machinery or gadgets. Upon my return later that afternoon, filled boxes were stacked high along the roadside, ready for collection, not by donkey and cart but by truck! Who can blame them?