Monday, August 27, 2012

Le grand départ



Sunday morning. Saying it is like singing or ringing the bells that call the parishioners to Saint-Trophime. I am not one of them but treat that particular moment of the week as sacred. Most especially when, after pulling myself from the crunched linen sheets and shadows of the bedroom, I brace myself for a weighty smack of air only to be kissed by coolness for the first time in...months? Months. 

A shift, a sift. And most certainly a gift. It is the beginning of the end of Summer, le grand départ from the long lazy and towards the bitter beats of la rentrée. Many a car will snake its way back to bigger towns today, its passengers uneasy in the stop and start of traffic jams that stretch to the horizon. Already I can feel their absence as I step out into the sun with my faithful friend Ben, his tail wagging, his gait light and refreshed. 

I take him for a longer loop than we have been able to attempt in weeks, the heat having disappeared with a finger snap. He sniffs at the newness as I get caught up in the act of looking. For it is as if that blinding white also went on its way and 'everything is illuminated'. 

Details, textures, time and tow. It is le grand départ and I let them go. 











30 comments:

  1. The beginning of the end of summer. We feel it here too. I think this is the most perfect description of the change of seasons I've ever heard. Big Texas hug, mon amour...

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    1. That is a mighty compliment, merci my lovely Texan friend.

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  2. I feel my heart all twisty at your words and then feel at a loss for my own.

    Beautifully done.

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    1. You inspire me oodles, Suze. So happy that I finally found your incredible writing. Better late than never!

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  3. I can almost feel the weight of the heat lifting and the change that comes with cooler air as the seasons begin to shift. The details that are revealed with crisper air and less crowded streets are lovely and I hope just the first heralds of a beautiful week for you! XO

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    1. Thank you Jeanne! Everyone has been so cranky--the tension builds up in August from the fatigue of the heat and the crowds. It is so wonderful when it starts to break...
      bisous...

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  4. The air and atmosphere are changing here too. But for us, one of our favorite haunts —Harvard Square — is becoming crowded again. The students are returning.

    But your post encapsulates both the refreshment and melancholy brought on as late summer turns into early fall.

    Thank you, my friend, you teach me something new with every post.

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    1. You are so amazing, Judith. A big hug to you.

      How interesting that your lovely town is filling up just as ours is starting to empty. Karina must have her stomping ground though!

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  5. Hello Heather

    You describe Sunday morning so perfectly and what a lovely surprise that the weather is more comfortable. Your images are beautiful and I know exactly what you mean about the white light that extracts and soaks up all tones and shades.

    Have a week of joy

    Helenxx

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  6. What a beautifully written post, although I NEVER want summer to end!!

    xx
    SP

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  7. I wish it would depart from here too. We had a cool breeze last night and evening but, come morning, it was hot and sultry again. Your photos inspire me with their simple beauty. I have never been to Provence but it looks strangely familiar ...

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  8. Oh how you're right about those scorching 'blinding white' Heather! It's fading, what a relief, colors are back. Fall colors, rich and textured.
    I love how poetically you make simple and daily sound extraordinary and special.
    Thank you.

    PS. Thank you for stopping by. Always love your comments.

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  9. Your gift of prose and amazing writing makes me savor each sentence as I read through your post. And visually, I have this feeling that I'm going along with you on your adventures, from the pictures you put us for us to see. So happy you've finally had a reprieve from the stifling heat. Hope the nice weather is back for good. You and Ben can take long walks without fear of dehydration. xx

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  10. Heather,

    I just love this post. Beautiful images and words. We are trying to enjoy the last of our season but will look forward to the Fall.

    leslie

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  11. As you say goodbye to summer slowly it begins to seep into our days which are just starting to become longer and warmer.....and it is very welcome as it's been a long winter way down here in Tasmania. Rx

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  12. Gorgeous. All of it. (J'avoue que je ne peux pas me passer de toucher les surfaces... des murs, des meubles... j'adore tout ce qui est "texture.")

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  13. There's been a breeze... an actual cool breeze! It feels so wonderful! The past couple of evenings I've actually been able to sit outside with my book and glass of rosé. It feels like the oppressive heat robbed me of my summer so I'm anxious to spend as much time outdoors now as possible :)

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  14. I love the architectural details in your photos, particularly the intricate door knocker.

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  16. What a lovely posting, Heather.

    Just yesterday, I was sitting on my front porch (which is at least an 8th of a mile from the road) and, realizing that I'd been sitting there for an hour without seeing anyone (just for the record, I was reading....but the dogs would have barked), I had a strange recognition.

    The weather's "broken" here in North Carolina, also...and I suddenly realized that, for the first time in my entire life, "Back to School Week!" is a completely irrelevant consideration. I've lived a couple of blocks from Duke University since 1986...and in Charlottesville, Virginia (home of the Univ. of Virginia) before that...and was actually in college before that....and I grew up going to school in a small college town in Tennessee.

    As far as I've seen, there aren't even any children living in this six-street, historic-district grid we've moved into. In any case, all the yards are 1-3 acres (so, presumably someone could have 15 children, and I wouldn't notice).

    In any case, it's distinctly odd to realize that the weather's changed....and there's no one going back to school. I mentioned this to Herve when he came last night; he suggested that, should I be feeling particularly bereft, I could sign up for the knitting classes the yarn-shop on the main street is advertising.

    Well....enjoy the fall weather. I expect your Texan readers are as profoundly relieved as you are to see the end of this past Summer.

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  17. P.S. do I need to emphasize that I'd meant to type "when he came home last night"?

    ----david terry

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  18. We waited so long for the heat to arrive that we continue to savor every sunning warm moment we can experience here in the Pacific Northwest. But we've also, in just the last couple of days, begun to notice that nip in the early morning air, and the softness of the sun's setting. A beautifully written post, Heather.
    xo
    j

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  19. Holy canoli, there are a lot of comments here! I go away for a few hours and poof, poof, poof. Thank you everyone for all of your thoughts, support and for making me laugh (yes that would be you, Mr. Terry)!!

    Off to prepare for an apero dinatoire...yum....

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  20. Le grand départ... big sigh from me... I am always sad when summer has that coming to a close feeling... xv

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  21. Sigh!! I have been missing your blogs - we have been away discovering the USA for a few weeks and took technology - but then didn't have time to sit down and use it - we walked and walked - but wow it is good to be home and catch up on your images!!! Fantastic!!

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    1. Wyn, I hope that your trip to my home country was an enjoyable one. Lots of inspiration to be had in the boldness of the landscapes and the kindness of the people. :)

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  22. Oh, there is such a lovely, wistful quality to this post. Having never been a fan of summer (too many hot, lonely months as a kid), I'm looking forward to la reprise -- but transitions are challenging no matter how eagerly anticipated. Here's to a smooth change of seasons! And thank you for the pretty photos!

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    1. And here is to a smooth bigger transition for you too! I am really looking forward to your next adventures in DC.

      I am relieved to hear that I am not the only one that has never been a fan of summer...no, no bring on Autumn! Cashmere sweaters! Cassoulet!!! Hoorah!

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  23. Lovely summer post....beautiful pictures....
    ...and I have lazy-hazy summer days....which hopefully will carry on into September!

    Again, dear Heather, a simply lovely summer post!
    xxxk

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    1. Merci Karin. I am all for the lazy part but am really ready to leave the heat behind. ;)
      Bisous,
      H

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