Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The sound of joy


Some days are quite simple. Others no, of course not. Life is messy, even in Provence! And certainly a mix-tape of thinking, music, memories and imagined discussions plays on a loop in my head pretty much from the moment I open my eyes to see the day to finally surrendering to les bras de Morphée. But then there are moments when something so wonderful shocks me and everything falls into place. That is why for me, the sound of joy is silence. Not the brass-band fanfare that it is often portrayed to be.


This morning, I woke with my arms above my head, hands firmly in the Namaste mudra. I wondered at the oddity but felt as tangled from my dreams. So imagine my delight when I opened up my email to find news from my Sister, Robin: she is coming to visit in the beginning of July! Any lingering spider-webs immediately vanished like sun hitting the dew. My Sister! Coming here! I shouted out to Remi and he immediately came to join me, his smile mirroring my own. 


I am often asked "Does your family come to visit often?" and I always respond "When they can." Airplane fares are only increasing and as both my Mom and Sister work full-time, they have tight schedules to wrestle with. So when either of them mention the possibility of a visit I hold my breath internally and try not to show too much outward excitement. Until the ticket is bought. As it was today!


As Robin has her own business (she has her own branch of the wonderful Music Together and is a brilliant teacher), we have always had an especially difficult challenge of finding the right time for her to visit. And so...she has never met Ben. Oh my, can you imagine? He loves the beautiful ladies (my Sister is a looker) and I know that he is going to be her shadow while she is here, pulling out all of his most suave moves to win her over utterly. I cannot wait to for them to meet.


And if that weren't an exciting enough prospect for my Sister, Robin has only been in Provence at Christmas time. Those of you that have been with me for a while know that those Mistral winds rip and roar all winter long. We have shivered together while I tried to show her some glimpse of the beauty that I know. How I hope to take my Sister for a picnic in an olive grove in the Alpilles and walk with her among the lavender fields. All I know is that I will spoil her rotten. And Chef Remi will too. It's his speciality.


For those of you that have never lived abroad, it is worth considering what it means to be so far from the rest of your family, something that I have written about often. Leaving your home country is like throwing a net out to sea--and you are the net! Fortunately, I have a wonderful partner in Remi. But he knows as well as I that I will revel in "Sister Time." July, come quickly please!


Ah, speaking of joy, I would also like to extend my deepest, most heart-felt "Hooray!" to our dear, dear friends Sonny and Michael, who have just remarried. Sonny is a beaming 75 year old bride and as gorgeous as her name would suggest. Michael, ever the suave gentleman, must have been one dignified groom. If only we could have been there to sabrage the champagne. But our friends are forever close in our hearts. Many thanks to you both for showing us that the long path of life is winding but that is nothing to be afraid of.

Let Love Rule...

28 comments:

  1. I understand your excitement with your sister coming to visit. I've live in the Netherland for seven years and none of my children or family from Texas have come to see me for the same reason as yours. Last weekend my nephew came and for 36 hours I was in heaven. Hard to explain. He understood. I am happy for you. xo Jenny

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    1. Yes, Jenny, I can only imagine how excited you were. Texas to the Netherlands is one long trip, I can see why it would be hard for them to manage it! Our family does the best they can. Do you get to go back to Texas from time to time?

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  2. Thank you for this wonderful post - I am glad I spurred these joyful feelings!! And what an honor to accompany these lovely pictures, including the one of Ben, who looks like he sat for a portrait to celebrate my impending visit! I cannot wait to see you and Remi and meet Ben and know we will have the most wonderful time - hooray for saving your pennies, provence in July, and time going very quickly!!!

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    1. Hooray! Hooray! Hooray! And Sister that photo is the essence of Benness--he is just saying with his eyes "Robin I am really, really fun and sweet, where are you?". :)

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  3. Sister love and septuagenarian love. What could possibly be better than that?

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    1. Not better but different: the unconditional love of our puppers? ;)

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    2. Agreed! And while we are on the topic. I'd love to read *une histoire de Ben* sometime. (pardon my fractured French).

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    3. Oooh, that is SUCH a good story, Judith!! I will do. Not just at present because I still have so many photos to share that are going stale! But soon...With puppy pictures...BROUAHHAAHHAAAAAA!

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  4. WHAT WONDERFUL NEWS!Perhaps I shall mail SISTER a little something to accompany her to you!Would you like some of that APPLE BUTTER you mentioned?I shall search for something HEATHERISH!Off and skipping as I need to finish the luggage!
    xoxo

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    1. Oh no, you are so generous! But I know that Robin will bring me some Americana! And I might just need to make a list from Trader Joe's too!! Have a great trip!

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  5. Hi Heather! I have been working, painting, studying my French, and been out of town a lot. Merci for all the wonderful posts since my last writing. Your eloquence is enveloping as a breeze through the plane trees in the summer heat. Love your writing and your photos, aussi. Can't wait for the musings of your sister's visit to Arles!
    A bientot!
    Chris

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    1. Chris, as happy as I always am to hear from you, I have only one thing to say--please go to sleepy now! Unless you are travelling, it is quite late your time! Zzzzz.... And great news that you are advancing with your painting!

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  6. Hello Heather:
    Well, of one thing we are certain. The sound of joy will not be silence once your sister arrives in Provence!

    It is, as you say, a curious thing to be separated from old friends and family once one has gone to live abroad but, it does, whatever,make their visit so much more special. We are certain that you will savour very moment and, of course, your sister's heart will be lost to Ben.

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    1. Oh so perfectly said, as always, my friends! There will be shouts of joy and champagne corks a poppin'!!

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  7. Oh, Heather, your post reminds me of how lucky Herve and I are (although he'd no doubt emphasize that "luck" has very little to do with it). In any case, he flies so often and so far on business that we're able to dole out flights like candy. This week, he's flown to Berlin, is currently in Washington DC, and then will spend a day in Seattle before flying AGAIN to spend another day in, I think, Minneapolis....all before flying back home. Oddly enough (and according to him), he doesn't mind being on airplanes any more than I mind wearing glasses....after a while (since first grade, in my case), you don't even notice.

    In any case, Frequent Flyer (sp?) Miles pile up....so, we're able to tell friends and family "If you want to go, then just make plans to do so; we'll take care of the flight".

    Of course, I have no idea what we'll do when he retires (he plans to do so at age 50, which is only nine years from now), and we find ourselves sitting here, looking at each other all day, everyday. We'll probably use some of those FFM's ourselves and go off on occasional, separate vacations.

    Congratulations on your sister's upcoming visit. I'm going to google this "Music Together" bidness.

    Level Best as Ever,

    david Terry
    www.davidterryart.com

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    1. David, that makes my heart all gooey, the thought that you can offer up the flights so willingly. And I agree with Herve from when we were on planes all the time, it's no biggie. If anything it is (for now) the one place where you are guaranteed some peace and quiet time.

      And here is the link to the website for my Sister's bidness:
      http://www.robinsongsforkids.com/
      I love to watch her teach. You really can see the creativity and connectivity blooming in even the tiny ones. It is good for the parents too!

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    2. Oh, Heather...it is nice to be able to do so. I won't name any names (since a lot of my family and friends have essentially become my cyber-stalkers), but?....

      Times are hard for so many folks these days. Sending money doesn't (in most cases) really "DO" anything. What really does help, though (and certainly in terms of helping someone get his/her mojo back) is saying "Just get your mother to watch the kids for the weekend, and get your ass on the plane and GO to your friend's wedding in Seattle" or "If he gets into the summer program, then we'll make sure he gets there and back. All he has to worry about is getting accepted" or "Of course they can come home for Christmas...just tell me where they need to fly-out-of....and DON'T tell them who bought the ticket. Say it's your Christmas present to them..."

      I haven't noticed that folks aren't working or trying as much as they always have. Fortunately, it's often the case (in my experience and among my acquinatances) that a trip somewhere, for even just a little while, is enough to set them back on their feet, get some perspective, feel a lot more hopeful, and move on.

      It's a good thing to be able to do this for folks. I'd never have imagined I'd be in this position (HINT: I never drove a car until I was 27, I never flew in an airplane until I was in my thirties, and I didn't start marrying international epidemiologists until I was in my forties).

      sincerely,

      Uncle David

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    3. You are a good man, David Terry. And I feel fortunate to know of you. And yes, I agree whole-heartedly what a little boost of confidence can do to get someone back on their feet and moving in the right direction.

      PS. I still don't know how to drive. It scares me to pieces.

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  8. Congratulations on your sister Robin coming for a visit I know you're so excited. She has never met Ben? How old is Ben? I don't think I've ever asked. Dylan's the same way loves the ladies always pulls out all the stops for them, it's cute. Always nice coming on here and finding joy!

    XX
    Debra~

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    1. Ben is five and a half! So while I have been able to go back to the States a few times, it has been a really long time since Robin has been here. :)

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  9. Such a joy-filled post! I am so happy for you and your sister. How wonderful to have her visit and see your beloved Provence in the sun. To catch up, to explore and just to be. Wonderful. I'll be toasting you both with a class of rosé tonight -- and Sonny and Michael, too. Wishing everyone all kinds of joy! XO

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    1. Thanks Jeanne. We finally spoke with Sonny and Michael last night and they are soo happy!

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  10. Hello Heather

    I can feel your joy and anticipation of Robin's fothcoming visit. Enjoy every second of your time together. Don't you find that no matter how long the visit and how much chatting one still never quite catches up. I can just see your list of things to do and places to see.

    I am delighted for you

    Helen xx

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    1. Thank you so much, dear Helen. Yes, it is so true about there not being even close to enough time to get truly caught up--and the chatting is what I am most looking forward to, despite all of the plans that I am making!

      Wishing you a wonderful weekend!

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  11. Happy, Happy for you Heather! It's so wonderful that you're so close with Robin. Just anticipation, dreaming of seeing her, knowing the certain moment must feel absolutely as happiness and energy boost.
    I know the feeling of being net in the sea...
    It's delightful to hear you joyous shoutings. Hooray!

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    1. Merci, Nat! You understand completely. All of it! This month will pass in a blink of an eye. I am so excited!

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