Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Snow clouds and winter berries



We stopped the car, realizing that we were, well, if not lost than entirely on the wrong road. As I got out to stretch my legs, I sucked in my breath from the cold and the sight of a liquid cloud, spread across the sky like an ink stain. "It is snowing in there," I thought to myself with pleasure, imagining all the things in nature that we don't see but are right there in front of us.



Once safely on the other side of the mountain, we stopped in a field outside of a small village. Neither the field nor the village had yet awoken from the night before. Frost glistened and dew dropped from winter berries and their pom-pom fronds.



Further on, the remains of an ancient wall crumbled into the folds of the earth. Forgotten, forgotten the houses here before. Shards of terra cotta roof tiles pulsed with a slight covering of verdigris lichen and roots crawled crab-like to warmer climes.



I sat next to Ben, as patient as ever and took in the world from his point of view. So much life within the tiny patch of dirt near his paws. Two miniscule beads of water reflected or refracted the interior of the earth. Get closer. It is good at times to smell something as vague as life. 


Remi and I had spoken the day before about my timidity in photographing people so when we both saw this Citroen 2CV battling down the lane, he pushed me to flag it down.


I was glad that I did. The gentleman in the drivers seat was perplexed and amused at my request but was willing to concede that certain étrangères might appreciate his car. The truth being that his face, his way of being was far more interesting. Out of politeness, he only and addressed Remi and spoke softly when he did. "Soon, we won't see that anymore," Remi admitted as the blue bug lurched away and he is right. Best then to take it all in while we still can.



35 comments:

  1. Great photos! Is it as cold as it looks?

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    1. Yep, but wait until you see how cold it got afterwards! :0

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  2. Oh Heather this reads like the most beautiful poem - but with illustrations!

    I'm going back to read it all again! Just so beautiful! You're on fire this year. Must be that camera? It's changed your writing style as well! Virginia xx

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    1. Thanks so much friend. I certainly don't feel on fire, I feel frozen! It is sooo coooold here...Brrr...And yes, I am loving my new camera! Trying to take a few more risks with my writing. Why not? Bisous.

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  3. I enjoyed your post... very beautiful. What a sweet looking man with his great old car. So happy you stopped by... thank you! (i'm following back)

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    1. Really looking forward to reading your posts and thanks for following back (never a pressure on my end for that but appreciated)!

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  4. Your blog is such a treat for me thousands of miles away in N. Texas. I have so many memories of times spent in St Remy - my parents rented a wonderful house there every fall for a month or so for more than ten years. We spent countless hours exploring Arles, Le Baux, Gordes, Mausanne and the ruins and Les Alpilles around St Remy. Reading your blog brings back memories of such happy times! I look forward each day to your every word and picture.

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    1. Hello Lindley and thank you so much for your kind words! Oh my, ten years of exploring the Alpilles on vacation? In the fall (my favorite) to boot? How amazing and how fortunate you were to experience that with them. :) I have never been to Texas but I imagine the land to be drier than our Alpilles? Still so much to see in the world.
      Have a great day!

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  5. Oh, thank you, Sister! I know you wrote this for me because I SO appreciate how you are encouraging us all to take time to stop and smell the roses, or the earth, or view the berries. Bravo for stepping out of your comfort zone to photograph the man and his car! And I agree with Remi (and you): best to take it ALL in while you can!!
    p.s. I agree with Virginia - you are on fire this year!!!

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    1. Thank you Sister! Having such supportive family and such talented siblings inspires me to try and do more. :)

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    2. Siblings?? Do you know something I don't know? : )

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    3. Oh you meanie! That is what I get for responding before the coffee has kicked in!

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  6. I love it when you go on road trips. That was very brave of you to stop that gentleman and snap his picture. I don't think people look interesting until they age. Ben looks perfectly happy and expectant.."what's next Mom?"

    XX
    Debra~

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    1. Yep, that is it exactly Debra. He is such a great travelling companion. And I love what you wrote, yes, the marks of a life are well-won and well-worn!

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  7. Wonderful read and images, Heather. Especially winter berries with teardrops and a portrait of an old gentleman. Thank you.

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    1. Thanks Natalie! It will take me a few days to get my response together for your award but I haven't forgotten in the least...

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  8. That older gentleman looks like someone straight out of The Sartorialist. Note the hat, the blue striped shirt (which matches his Citroen and is perhaps nearly as old), and his layered sweaters.

    I would frame any one of these photos and hang it on my wall. I could examine those clouds in the first photo forever.

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    1. He does look like a subject for Mr. Sartorialist (who is very handsome in person I might add--Scott Schuman, not the elderly dude) and thank you for your amazing compliment Judith, that made my day!!!

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  9. Heather, this is a wonderful travelogue this is! Thank you sooo much!

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    1. Hi Sally! Always good to hear from you! And look, there is another Texan here too! :)

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  10. Two 2CV shots in two weeks! You are killing me, Heather ;-) Meet me at the Ritz Paris when you return... Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

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    1. Yep, I knew you would love that and I need to mmet you at the Ritz RIGHT NOW!

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    2. Easy. Just visit my blog. I am about to save you a trip to Paris, where, let's face it, you would probably freeze your derrière even more! ;-)

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  11. ENCORE............That MAN and his CAR!FABULOUS!Stop more people.......they think we AMERICANS are crazy anyway so might as well give them a show!Beautiful snaps.......you take me away.MILLIE GRAZIE.

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    1. I will try Contessa and merci for all of your encouragement!

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  12. So beautiful and poetic Heather!! And that is just like our old blue 2CV!! Such great memories!

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    1. Thanks Stacey! I still can't get over the image of you (of all people!) chugging along in a 2CV... :)

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  13. Beautiful pictures, Heather. I especially love the last 2 & of course the lovely gentleman with his blue bug. Your words are so romantic & imaginative.

    ~ Clare x

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    1. Thank you so much Clare. Hope you are in the midst of a wonderful summer. :)

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  14. So French, so lush, so magnificent and so beautifully written Heather.

    Also, there is nothing quite like having a look at the world from a dog's perspective.

    xo,
    Tish

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    1. Merci Tish and again a heart-felt congratulations for the adventure in front of you!

      I will wisely refrain from commenting on the second sentence. :)

      Meant the offer about the mousse--let me know!

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  15. Hello Heather

    I loved travelling with you on this drive. Bravo and brave for stopping the beautiful man in the blue car. That is an incredible picture and such an interesting wise face.
    Stay warm
    Helen xx

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  16. love the photos, and your doggie is sooo cute :D
    xx

    Chloé GIVEAWAY on my blog: http://cupcakeolicious.blogspot.com/

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