[Because there is no one to send this to me, I send it to myself: I love Italy, the gifts is has given me, the sense of family and place and belonging—though I will always and forever be a foreigner—and yet I miss France with the ache of a native son. The light, the stones. The weight of time. I can’t wait to go back. To lose myself in its shades of blue and gray. To stand there again, struggling to breathe it all in, to store it up in my mind’s dwindling spaces, so that I’ll have it with me, forever. There is no explaining this love for this place.]
So. What to do with all this longing, all this desire? I remember the bag of lavender we harvested this summer. I will use that, and all its Proustian power, to conjure up some of the France that I miss so badly here in Italy.
The process is relatively simple. 1. Take the six women’s handkerchiefs carried back from the French supermarket. Cut each in half. 2. Fold each half and sew along the sides. Invert, iron. Voilà: 12 breathable little sacs. 3. One at a time… 4. fill them with lavender. 5. Close by sewing from seamed-side to seamed-side about 3-4 cm from the open edge.6. Tie. Done. Breathe deep, and let the flood of memories come.