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arbre (ar-bre) noun, masculine
L'arbre devient solide sous le vent.
The tree becomes strong beneath the wind. --Seneca
On Saturday morning, hours after the grapes had shed their morning dew tears and been carted off in the back of my brother-in-law's truck, the sky turned ripe red. I looked over to my mom who studied the rustling autumn leaves above us. Next, the sky rained down jujubes.
The downpour occurred in the town of Courthézon where Jules (that would be my mom) and I had been swept, via a dusty broom, into the medieval courtyard of a Corsican. The Corsican woman wore five gold chains around her neck and when she spoke she shook her broom. Turns out she wasn't angry at us for peeping through her portail.* By the time she had unlatched the gate and swept us in, I understood why: fact is, she was a little bit proud of that red fruit that fell from the sky.
The Corsican shut the gate behind us and in the silence that followed I begged her pardon. "We've been harvesting..." I explained.
"I can see that," she said, pointing her broom to our grape stained shirts. I told her that we had made a post harvest périple* through town and were on our way out when we saw the great arbre* with the gorgeous red flecks of.... fruit was it?
"My mom thinks it is a weeping willow but it looks like an olive tree to me."
"C'est un jujubier,"* the Corsican announced, and her broom shot up to the tree. When next she shook her broom, the branches trembled in response.
"Jujubes are a delicacy," she said as she shook the tree's branches. And that is when the blue sky turned red with those jujubes pouring down from above.
As the fruit hit the cement floor below, Jules and I ran around the courtyard like chickens, plucking up the red fruit and shoving it in our pockets like petty thieves.
The Corsican steadied herself with her broom, bent down and picked up a jujube. Next, she popped the fruit into her mouth, twisted her lips, then turned and spat the seed out. The grape-stained petty thieves followed suit and, like that, perfect strangers stole a lip-pursed moment savoring sweets swept down from the sky.
References: le portail (m) = gate; le périple (m) = tour, journey; un arbre (m) = tree; c'est un jujubier = it's a jujube tree
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