Wild Asparagus Yet Again

Posted on January 19, 2012


*This post was written a day before the Hannukah miracle occurred and usurped it’s posting.  So here it is, a little late but hopefully still fresh….

Once again, the wild asparagus season is here.  How many times have I written about this moment?  And why is it that year after year, I never tire of celebrating it? 

Because it is always the same and always wondrously fresh and surprising – the matchless way that each stalk presents itself to the world – its unique color, girth, curve –  solo or in a cluster –  endlessly varied.   And because of the exquisite beauty of their setting, in my favorite oak grove, at this early stage of winter – where I am torn between focusing on the complex pattern of the green carpet underfoot, and the undisturbed expanse of trees and boulders in this discreet and magical place. 

a stalk of wild asparagus

I wanted to see if we could find mandrakes, and we found dozens, at this point with their leaves grand and shiny, and at their heart, a burst of purple blossoms.  I saw my first cyclamen of the season.  We crossed paths with two rabbits. 

mandrake flowers

And no matter how many times I encounter those carvings in the limestone – steps leading down into a burial cave, a shallow, sloping grape press, or a simple 90 degree angle hewn into a stone by someone for some purpose we can never know – I am thrilled to stand on that same spot, just as they did perhaps two thousand years ago.  And to imagine that they enjoyed the wild asparagus of this season as much as we do. 

entrance to a burial cave