Thursday, May 3, 2012

The bridge


There are moments in life when we feel compelled to stop and go back for a second look. 

Remi and I were barrelling along a back road in the Var when in a flash something pulled at the corner of my eye. "Hold on, can we turn around?" By now, Remi knows that this is a question that I don't ask lightly. He obliged and we were awarded with the view of a lopsided old bridge tucked in the hills of a forgotten valley. The noonday sun flattened out the land in the palm of its hand, something was missing. We drove on.


After enduring the winds rustling around Grimaud, we decided that they would keep us from enjoying a sunset glass of rosé in St. Tropez as had been our plan and turned back. "Why don't we stop again at that bridge we passed earlier?" Remi suggested. I should have known. A perpetual light hunter, that one.


Ben jumped out of the back of the Range Rover with a shake of delight. How strange this terrain with its bumpy lava-like crust dotted with lichen. The parasol pines pushed the horizon out and up, in a very Seuss-ical manner. Curiouser and curiouser.



As can happen when faced with such utter beauty, some silent agreement forms between Remi and I. We both need to go our separate ways for a while and define it for ourselves. Ben plays tag between the two of us. As on that particular evening it happened to be close to the time when he usually hears his favorite word in the world, he shadowed my heels, looking at me questioningly "where are we?".


"A rather good question," I thought. I let my eyes tell me where they wanted to go and as has been often the case lately, they zeroed in on the small, the details. The minutiae. How they fill up our everyday lives, so often without notice, without appreciation for all of the joy that they can bring.



The little things constantly lead us to the big. I looked up and gazed at the bridge, now bathed in the love of last light. How many bridges did I cross to get here? To be right here at this moment? 



There can be whole blocks of time in our lives, weeks, months, years, where we feel "stuck". Caught up in webs of worry or weighted down by grasping silent emotions. And yet like the water flowing underneath that ancient bridge, we are always moving forward and being moved. Particle by particle and hope to hope.

A shudder passed over me as the cold from the sun-drained lava crept up in my skin. But I shook it off and let my gaze soften, wondering what bridges to cross lie ahead.

20 comments:

  1. Hello Heather:
    What a strange and beautiful landscape you find yourself in and how wonderfully it appears to be steeped in history which, in the oddest of ways, has the capacity to transcend time and become part of the now. And, yes, it is the small, inconsequential things in life which so very often carry with them a greater meaning and which are, we feel, so important, much more so than the journey which lies ahead, about which we can no longer worry, and the bridges yet to be crossed.

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    1. It is the little things that have consistently pulled me through tough times or even bad hair days! My first year in France was a rough transition and I swear it was the promise of good cherry jam that smoothed it all over.

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  2. This post says so much and feeling "stuck" has been much on my mind latey. Thank you.

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    1. Welcome, friend. You so often give me so much to think about. Bisous.

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  3. Indeed, as Jane and Lance so wisely pointed out, why worry about the bridges ahead when one has no idea which kind, or where, or why they will be. And if we did know, we may very well be completely stuck in the now, too terrified and too excited to actually take a step into the future. So it's just as well.

    What beautiful timing to be at that spot, in that light, and even better, to have the presence of mind to see the beauty in it. Seuss-like. A land of perfect imagination. Love that! xx

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    1. Oh not worrying, Virginia! "Musing" is more like it, you know me--head in the clouds kind of girl! And I agree, I really don't want to know what is in front of me!! I tell that to the gypsy fortune tellers when they approach me and you know what? They never argue back!

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  4. Lovely thought, "the little things lead to the big." I believe that too, and therefore savor each moment, being grateful for it and know each is leading to the next. Stunning photos. I cannot get them enlarged on my screen, but will try again later. Beautiful even when small! Such a beautiful scene!

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    1. Thank you Sanda but I hope it did work out for you to see them a bit bigger. I don't think it is about the photos but the beauty in the details that nature put there!

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  5. GOT IT!

    Great pics and message ...life's like that somehow....I love not knowing what's ahead...watching it all unfold and being part of it is pure delight!

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    1. Of course you did, Heather! And you are a great poster-child for the art of discovery, that is for sure. :)

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  6. Sorry I'm not going to be deep here but will say I love the mix in your landscape. Interesting to see the moss and fungus mixed in with an abandoned vineyard and old lava rock. Unusual landscape to be sure. I love seeing Ben in your posts his face is so expressive.

    Happy Friday!
    XX
    Debra~

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    1. No need to be "deep" Debra! That made me smile. I know, I tend to make something out of nothing--I'll scare the readers away again if I'm not careful. :)

      Hope all is well with you--bon weekend!

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  7. Bonjour Heather. Thank you for stopping by today. Well, whether you want it or not, this post definitely qualifies as "deep," (unlike my last story, ha! ha!) Loved your photography, and how you took the time to study nature around you. Your words accompany the photos perfectly, bien sur. Personally, I am simply mesmerized by the blue sky, probably because I crave it so much this time of year in the grey Pacific Northwest. Bon weekend! Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

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    1. And it really is that blue, Veronique--that isn't photoshop! Somehow it seemed even clearer than here in the Alpilles. Hold on, Spring is coming to you...

      I think it is wonderful that you took a photography course. I am on the slow track with Remi so it isn't exactly the same thing--but maybe ten years from now I will have learned what you did so quickly!

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  8. Hello Heather

    The landscape is so very different from any I have seen, perhaps a little like the wilds of Arizona coupled with the Burren in Ireland, yet the flora and fauna differs. Ben had a wonderful life.
    I love the line where you said
    "We both need to go our separate ways for a while and define it for ourselves" You are both true artists.

    Have a glorious weekend

    Helen xx

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    1. Thank you so very much, Helen. That is quite a compliment coming from you!

      And hopefully, our dear Ben will be with us for awhile longer. I hope to spoil him with love as long as possible. :)

      Wishing you also a weekend full of light...

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  9. Hello Heather...
    Such a beautiful spot you found... I can imagine how that lead to such a pensive moment...
    See you soon... xv

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    1. It seems the more beautiful the environment, the more dreamy I get! I can't help it...
      Wishing you a wonderful weekend...

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  10. Oh Heather I love this post, a reminder to stop, reflect and then yes always move forward!!

    I have featured an Interview with Tina from The Enchanted Home...

    xoxo
    Karena

    Art by Karena

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    1. Absolutely Karena--forward it is! And I saw your charming interview with Tina, merci.

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