Candles, Groundhogs, Crêpes

Rose Window, Notre Dame, Midwinter
DSC02512Sunday morning, Ivan and I were invited to church. Young girls in white capes greeted us at the door with candles to light for the ceremony. As I tried to keep up with the unfamiliar liturgy, half in Latin, half in French, “Lumen ad revelationem gentium: et gloriam plebis tuae Israel, présentation du Seigneur au Temple,  purification de la Vierge Marie, quarante jours après la naissance“… “This must be Candlemas!” resonated in my mind, like an echo from Elizabethan times. Thoughts about the earth’s path around the sun, how pagan Bear cults celebrating the end of hibernation transformed into La Chandeleur (chandelle + ours?) in France and Groundhog Day’s Punxsutawney Phil extravaganza in the US… Northern Hemisphere, early February, exactly halfway through Winter, energies are at their lowest, statistically more people leave the planet now than any other time of year. Parisian skies are gray and heavy. It’s not just my personal after-Christmas blues… we all need reminders that life renews and returns. Are round golden brown disks with sugar and melted butter images of the sun?

On tonight’s menu, two versions: savory buckwheat galettes with cheese, ham, an egg or creamy mushroom fillings, sparkling cider, green salad, then crispy thin dessert crêpes with jam, cream or chocolate-nut spread…

A game I play when making fluffy American pancakes: waiting for the bubbles to pop on the griddle, I flip them over to see the smooth “sun” side, then flip again to see how the bubbles have formed a pattern on the “moon” side. What pictures come up? Clues to our heart’s desire? I call it Pancake Divining 🙂

Also see:

http://www.learnenglish.de/culture/candlemass.html

to be continued

PS Wrote this before I knew Eric Kristy had passed… And Kim’s mother, and so many others…unbelievable…

 

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