Thursday, 26 December 2019
Solstitial sunrises from a Palma balcony
We lucked out, as they say, with this view from an apartment recommended by our friend Sophie Sarin (currently in tougher climes back in Mali) via her Swedish diplomat friend from Bamako, Eva. It was enough at first to wake when the sun was already bright
and the coast opposite clear
but after an early lifting of the shutters to reveal a sunrise, 7.30am rising became a must. Praise be to the solstice for making such a daily revelation possible - sunrises are usually for me a rare and unforgettable occurrence, like getting up at 4.30am in Göttingen to head out for a clavichord recital by the Seeburger See with the sun beyond the windows rising through the willows. Given variable weather, with only a smattering of rain when Storm Elsa was supposed to be at her height (it was about 9pm and I was on the way back from a free recital of Fauré's piano music in the fabulous Fundació Pilar i Joan Miró (more on which in a future post), no one morning was quite the same as the other. Even on a day when a Mallorcan version of the haar hung low, there was a hint of blurry sun before it closed in,
There was red sky in the morning on the day of the Elsa warning
after which the sunny weather returned for the solstice days: first heralded by a different kind of red, a rosy-fingered dawn
then as an orb rising from haze
while the next day, Helios made a simple ascent at its most majestic.
The fishing boat on the left seemed to account for the gulls circling before the levee
while I was more hard-pressed to account for the swarms above the terraces of olive trees in Deia; some of them look like skuas, others black-headed gulls.
In our own garden - well-kept, but they need to ditch the noisy, smelly leaf-blowers - the denizens were mainly blackbirds, collared doves and the very occasional butterfly (I think this is a Wall Brown, Lassiomata megera, but someone else may know different).
while down on the rocky seafront, cormorants dried their wings,
poised and skimmed. We could just have been idle, but there was too much to see in the mountains and the wonderful city on our doorstep, where one of the greatest cathedrals in the world had its sandstone facade further deepened by the sun setting opposite.
More on that wonder, on Chopin and George Sand in Valldemossa and Robert Graves in Deia, in future posts. It's nice to be back for quiet interstitial days, full of such vivid impressions and having gleaned such warmth, as well as respite from the sight of our Prime Monster, over 10 days.