So close to the ground you can almost step on it…

Reading time: About 1 minute

I like to share interesting pieces of figurative language I encounter in my reading. I write today about a metaphor from author Elizabeth Bard.

I was standing at the public library, idly flipping through books on the shelves when my fingers exerted their willpower and extracted the book Lunch in Paris

A couple of things attracted me: I’ve been to Paris only once — in 2011 — but I loved it. I especially liked eating there. (The best bread I’ve ever had in my life came from the Eric Kayser bakery. If you’re ever in Paris I urge you to try it!)

I also appreciated the subtitle of the book, A Love Story, with Recipes. It was the word recipes that demanded my interest. Love stories are a dime a dozen but I’m currently writing a book that will feature recipes, so I wanted to see how someone else had done it.

Turns out, I was a little disappointed. I found Bard’s writing style a little too shrill and her attitude a little too entitled for my taste. Some of her recipes, however, look terrific (I’ve copied them and will testing them out in the next few months), and she also gave me a splendid metaphor. Here it is:

These were the grayest days of February, when the sky in Paris feels so close to the ground you can almost step on it.

When I was briefly in Paris, we had nothing but brilliant sunshine, but as a lifelong inhabitant of Vancouver, I can relate to relentlessly grey days. Sometimes the sky appears to press down on us. I’d never seen it as a sky you could “step on” but the metaphor felt both interesting and surprisingly apt.