Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Dear Hélène

Dear Hélène,

every year in mid August, when I start to feel a bit sentimental about summer fading day by day, 
I am thinking of you.  

I am thinking of all the pages you filled with summery scents and flowery colours, with the clittering of crickets and a warm August breeze.
I also wonder how my book would look like (if I had one with lots of empty pages) 
and how I would describe late summer at its best.
There is not much to add to your notes,
you described your summers perfectly,
almost 130 years ago
Between two scuffed covers of a little album
you gathered the most beautiful memories of late Augusts in St. Gervais.
Of flowery meadows and cottage gardens, 
of the park behind the old château, of mountain pastures.
 Sweet summer memories of your very first ball 
and of the bouquet your friend gave you on your 18th birthday
I would have loved to join you on your long wanderings through meadows and fields, 
across all those mountain streamlets where you picked wild water mint and forget-me-not.
And I would have asked you if you too were feeling a bit
sentimental as summer was fading a little day by day.

I found this little album, filled with the sweetest summer memories, buried under a lot of dusty old books, in an antiquarian bookshop in Leipzig, Germany, a few years ago. 

Every year since then I have been wanting to to keep a few scents and colours and sounds of my summery days between two lids of a book. Every summer, mid August, I think of Hélène, who gathered all those flowers and wrote down so many lines, almost 130 years ago. 

Every year, mid August, I also think of Eduard who wrote one single entry, the very last one, in Hélène´s book in 1906.
She hadn´t written anything in her book for sixteen long years.
I wonder who he was, Eduard, and why he wrote that very last greeting.
Hélène wouldn´t tell.