Suha visits, in autumn and winter, the Bagatelle park in Paris.
Hidden in the immense green expanse of the Bois de Boulogne, in Paris, there is Bagatelle, a park one reaches by crossing a wood: I go there often to watch the changing of the seasons, the slow strip-tease of the trees… I catch their earliest presages in the most intense fragrances of the earth. Each week there is a new note in the concert of colours and symphony of nuances that live in this magic, ancient place.
Today the leaves are falling like rain, with a tired grace, giving themselves up to the moods of the wind. They have the light sound of a faint sigh, of a cheerful resignation: “That’s over with!” Everything is completed in the right time and way. Things go where they have to go and stay where they have to stay. The silvery cedars of Lebanon are waiting for their moment, when they will watch, in majestic beauty, over bare, sleeping nature. Sitting on a bench, I am surrounded now and then by a light rain of leaves, whose discreet music seems to portend an exceptional event… Before the leaves touch the ground, they allow themselves to be kissed once again by the sun, play to the last with its rays in a loving game, and twirl merrily in the air, until they surrender voluptuously to the ground and their fate. It almost looks as if, falling, they had no regrets. Oh, how I wish I could go off this way too… Afterwards I find them everywhere, under my feet, as crunchy as potato crisps, and just a week later they are heavier on the ground and softly accompany the contact of my foot with the earth.
But today I find the park bare and raw. The water in the ponds with a light crust of ice. Everywhere a look of solemn sadness, as at a death-watch. There is no longer anything to say. No longer anything to give. The cats are hiding. The peacocks have disappeared. There is no point in lingering. Steps become quicker, noises more cautious, glances more discreet. Even the cedars of Lebanon look modest; I was wrong, I thought they were more coquettish. As soon as I come in through the gate, I feel wrapped up, against my will, in a blanket of drowsiness, of chilly indifference. Move along! There isn’t anything to see any more! Move along! I can no longer make out the trees, only lines that intertwine, chase each other, overlap, get lost again, re-join each other, separate and meet again. I look at myself, before I get out: I too feel bare. And I apologise for my intrusion.