Why The Mirabelle Tree?

The Mirabelle Tree is a memory.

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Every year we would take our daughters to spend their summer holidays   with their Grandparents in the South West of France. Their house was situated in the bottom of a lush valley right next to the Gave D’Oloron, a wide and tumbling river, which would rumble as the fast current turned the boulders over beneath the waters. The house looked up towards a pretty, medieval town which looked out towards the distant snow capped Pyrenees and the flat lands of the ancient Kingdom of Navarre.

One day while I was cycling up to the  village with my daughters to get the morning bread from the boulangerie, we discovered a Mirabelle tree hanging over a garden wall. The tree was heavy with little golden plums dripping off the branches like juicy jewels. We couldn’t eat enough, me and two little girls standing on their tiptoes to reach the fruit. We would fill our pockets and baskets and race home to share our treasure. For the next few weeks this became our daily ritual, my two girls cycling ahead of me as I watched them, happy and carefree with their silken plaits flying out behind them and my youngest shouting at the top of her voice,

“I love being alive!”.

Just a moment captured in time like a little super 8 movie, a secret conspiracy, a bond never to be broken and a lifetime love of Mirabelles.

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