Monday, August 20, 2012

Sweet Relief




If I have been posting less of late, it is for a very simple reason--it is too hot. My brain is in a state of suspended animation. For those of you from far away, please be patient with your French bloggers who are all in the midst of a canicule or heat-wave, one that has put several regions on high alert. I had already sweated my way through the last in 2003 when an estimated 15,000 people died. We now know to plan, to conserve our energy and to take special care of our furry friend, Ben. But there are still places to go and people to see, visitors to tend to. 


On our way home from a recent outing, we took a small country road that we had never travelled before--as we are wont to do--and came screeching to a halt at the sight of a gift from the heavens. A source or spring burbled in a shallow pool that had been created with old stones and lined with a paved gravel by some kind soul for the benefit of all. The water was icy cold, from deep within the earth.


"Do you think Ben can go in?" I asked. He had rolled in the dirt earlier in a desperate attempt to keep cool. A bath would do him good in more ways than one. "I don't see why not," Remi replied. Ben couldn't seem to believe his good luck. He pranced about, lifting one paw then the next...


...and then sank down with a sigh. His eyes glazed over and he became very still.


I cast off my sneakers and sank in my toes. Remi joined me. 


We sat like that for some minutes, utterly content. The chill slowly worked its way up from our feet all the way to our brains until we felt completely restored.


Isn't it lovely that such a small moment is one of my very favorites from this Summer?


Have a wonderful week everyone...









59 comments:

david terry said...

Well, that's just lovely, Heather.

My only disapointment with this old house (for those who don't know...it's 220 years old, and we bought it two months ago) is that, while there's a wellhouse out front, down by the road, the spring and springhouse are long-gone.

They were out-back. I've read excerpts from diaries (this is a town that's been highly self-conscious of its history since at least the 1950's, when the Historical Society was formed, so there are plenty of "books" on Hillsborough) and various memoirs that describe the Spring. The core of the house originally was (in 1790) a schoolhouse, run by the spinster-daughter of the conlony/state's first governor for thirty-some years. Several students from the 1830's mention the "big Spring", with ferns and a rock border, and ledges filled with perishables in the springhouse.

There's not a trace of spring or springhouse now; it was all covered-over and diverted when the town got a civic water-system in the 1930's or so. Isn't that a real pity?

As you might guess, I've thought about renting a backhoe and playing Jean de Florette in the back lot, but Herve's reminded me that, courtesty of the Historical Association's covenants, we're not allowed to do so much as change the color of the shutters.

In any case, your day at la source makes me very envious...but thanks for the predictably lovely posting.

----david terry
www.davidterryart.com

david terry said...

P.S. (and almost entirely off-topic): I could write this to you privately, knowing that you and Remi, as free-lance artis/writers, would cackle over it....but this is so fascinatingly wacky that I'll share it with your readers.

A sufficient amount of entertaining weird-shit (i.e., fan mail) manages to come through my website's filter, but this (which arrived early this morning from someone with a vaguely Spanish name) takes the cake for ultra-enthusiastic babbling:

"I had a dream of 8 island even though i never heard of it before, I
told my brother and he google it and this site appear with this image that make
me vibe, think, dream, trip. Ii would love to know more about it.

I bealieve that when and artist have finished and art pieace he stan
out from the painter roll and give another meaninga to his art.. But I would
like to know the root of this inspiration. Thanks!"

(I should add that the person is referring to a very queeny&doggy, campy old picture of mine titled "Jo-Jo & The Msyteries of Love on Figure Eight Island". You may recognize Figure Eight Island (it's on the North Carolina coast) as the place where the Clintons and Gores hung out, on occasion, during their time at the white House.)

Please pass this on to Remi....wouldn't he love to hear, in regard to one of his pictures, "this image that make me vibe, think, dream, trip"?

I'm awfully sorry that Robert Hughes died this past week....but it appears that the world still has at least one innovative art-critic.

vibe-makingly yours as ever,

David Terry
www.daviedterryart.com

Lost in Provence said...

Well, it is a pity but I will back Herve up. Just look what happened to Jean de Florette (and ps. when we meet, you might want to ask Remi to do his impersonation of Yves Montand in that film but I would wait to do so until after he has had a few glasses of wine).

And even though the spring has been corralled and made public friendly, I kept imagining it with ferns all around and fairies dancing above...but wait, that is probably more suited to your ps.

Our old Ohio horse farm (when I was growing up) had not one but two little creeks (or criks if you prefer) running across the property and there was no better place to go and dream.

Lost in Provence said...

To very, very cheesily quote the orgasm scene in "When Harry Met Sally": "I'll have what she's having"... ;)

Young at Heart said...

ooh too cool!!

I Dream Of said...

Heather, I'm so glad you, Ben and Remi found a reprieve from the heat! It looks cool, calm and beautiful. How lovely, too, that you have a perfect memory in the midst in what must not be the best of summer, to say the least. I was in France during the 2003 heat wave, and have to say it's the only time I've been absolutely miserable there. I'll be sending chilled thoughts your way. Take care of yourself - and your furry friend Ben! XO

French Girl in Seattle said...

Fraicheur, fraicheur a l'ordre du jour! I love these photos of the beautiful spring and a refreshed and renewed Ben. Bonne semaine to you also, "Heather des Sources..." :-) Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

david terry said...

Oh, Heather....I've been thinking it all moring...so, I might as well just SAY it.... publicly and without any reservations or self-imposed censoring.....

Yous and the Remis' images pictures of the art of life and good-times from a photo and writing world making in nature-time with springs and sexy good handsome dog make me vibe, think, dream, and trip.

That may not be the most commercially-productive review you and Remi have/will ever receive.....but you've got to admit it's the most unique one.....

I just printed out what I regard as my favorite, unsolicited review ever, and I pinned it above my drawing desk. I love it.

I'll admit to still having no idea whatsoever how I'll respond to it. The writer seemed utterly sincere.

---david terry

Jackie and Joel Smith said...

We've also experienced our first-of-the-summer (two years actually) heat wave and I know what you mean about its effect on the ability to write a coherent post. . .when one sweats just sitting at a computer, creativity is washed away. Love the photos and your fantastic find.

Suze said...

It is, indeed, lovely, Heather. Magnificent photos of Ben and a beautiful way of articulating the experiences. I myself feel refreshed at having read about it.

Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello Heather:
How wonderfully refreshing. We can feel the cold of that water trickling over your toes and working its way through your entire body. Such bliss. Such joy. And for Ben too for whom the heat must be so much of a trial. Here each day is similar, hot, hot, hot, with the nights scarcely any cooler but, and we wonder if it is the same for you, the very early mornings, we are up at six most days, have that slightly different feel to them, a prelude to autumn?

We do so hope for cooler days this week in Venice. Certainly the churches, which we love to visit for they contain such treasures, will be respite from the sun. Away from our computer, we shall catch up anon!!

Judith A. Ross said...

Oh Heather, I can only imagine the stunning (as in it stuns you into submission) heat you are having in Provence. That stream looks heavenly. Good for Ben for knowing how to cool himself off. And it reminds me of another fresh spring that Paul and I experienced the first summer we were together. We were doing "deep woods" camping in upstate New York and after a long, hot, hike, we came upon such a stream. Being that we were far from civilization, we stripped down and cooled off!

mademoisella coquine. said...

How lucky that you have access to such beautiful nature to create this simple yet lovely summer memory.

As usual, Paris and New York have traded places with the weather! It's cooling off big time over here and autumn seems to be creeping in. Boo.

I'm sure this French heat wave will be short-lived, but in the meantime, stay cool! #drinkrosé

Anna-Mari said...

Awwwwwww just look at his face in the fourth pic! He looks so happy as can be! ♥

helen tilston said...

Hi Heather

What a perfect oasis. I can read Ben's mind. He is in total extacy. I am sure you have mapped this place for a return visit
Here we are noticing the mornings and evenings are cooler.

Have a great week

Helen

Lost in Provence said...

We waited until too late in 2003 to buy a fan and they were sold out EVERYWHERE! On my birthday for that year, Remi completely splurged and took me to a b&b in a chateau--save that they didn't have AC (who does here?) and we were so crazily hot the entire weekend that I couldn't even enjoy the Christian Dior museum! And that is saying something...

Lost in Provence said...

I have thought about that quite a few times today, David. I am CERTAIN the writer is sincere and that is what makes it so wonderful. Yes, I did pass it on to Remi, who, quite simply, did not understand a word of it!

Lost in Provence said...

Thank you Suze and a heart-felt welcome!

Lost in Provence said...

My dear friends, I am afraid the only time that I see 6am is when I need to catch an airplane. As this is no longer happening with much frequency, I have to admit that I can not attest to the temperatures but am very hopeful indeed that you are right.

As for Venice, I have full faith that you will have a wonderful time even if it is broiling--but I will be sending good thoughts your way, regardless. Have a wonderful time!!!

Lost in Provence said...

I wish, Vero! How I love that movie...

Lost in Provence said...

And yet you manage to keep posting while I have been withering away!

Lost in Provence said...

Judith, if we hadn't been on a public road...

Lost in Provence said...

Ella, I heard that the temps dropped 10 degrees overnight! Autumn=cuter clothes=good.

Lost in Provence said...

Pun intended, I hope!

Lost in Provence said...

Anna-Mari, I could have posted a million more like that! It made me happy to see him so happy, my sweet pupper...

Lost in Provence said...

Wishing you the same, Helen. And yes, exactly! It is supposed to hit 100°F on Wednesday and we may all have to drive the hour to get there, it would be worth it!!!

Gros bisous...

A Well Styled Life said...

Wonderful pictures. I especially like the one of you and Ben! He certainly looks like one happy dog.

Leslie said...

What a sweet picture of Ben! Our pups always suffer on those warm summer days and nothing is better than a soak in a cool pool of water. Such a beautiful spot Heather, and I'm sure you feel somewhat rejuvenated now :)

Enjoy your day!
leslie

david terry said...

Oh, Miss Judith??????.....and just when I had boxed-you-in and written-you-off as a very proper, all-buttons-buttoned (thank you!), New England Literary Lady......???

You turn out to be nothing but a country side-road hoyden!!!!...a man-tempting minx of the first water!!!!

I simply don't know what to say. I wuld have thought your mind would have been fixed on HIGHER things than "cooling off" and "stripping down".


worriedly yours as ever,

The Reverend Dr. David Terry (who remains chastely, purely and surely UN-married)
www.OurLadiesShouldRemainLADIES!.org

LA CONTESSA said...

WHAT A SPOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!WHAT A TREAT especially for the four legged GUY!
I hope it cools down for you..........soon!It feels like FALL here the last few days..........here being CALIFORNIA!Just has that certain light in the sky.
A NOTE:THAT DAVID TERRY is on every new site I go on!!!!!!!!!He must speed type!LOve what he has to say!
Off to do more dinner prep...company coming!The menu:Tuna pasta,thin beef in a tomatoe sauce and capers,marinated zucchini with vinegar,mint and garlic,carrots with juliene strips of apricots,green salad and the grand final raspberries,blueberries soaked in a dash of sugar and a splash of orange juice!DO you think thats enough??????

Greet Lefèvre said...

Sweet Heather,
So wonderful!Love love these pictures of your darling Ben and of you!!
What a wonderful place!!
A great week for you also my friend!
xx
Greet

Loree said...

It is hot here too. Terribly, cruelly hot this year. I have reached the point where I can't bear it anymore and I totally understand your state of mind. It is a struggle to sit and write. Ben is such a darling. I grew up around retrievers, labrador retrievers, but they are closely related to the golden retrievers. I know they love water, no matter how cold :) Ours would swim in December.

Francesca Muir said...

Isn't it amazing what such simple pleasures can bring? Great photos and great story - I can feel your heat from here. Sending you cool wishes from Sydney. Fx

david terry said...

Hey there, "contessa"...

"A NOTE:THAT DAVID TERRY is on every new site I go on!!!!!!!!!He must speed type!"

hmmm....the only blogs to which I respond with any regularity are Heather's, Vicki Archer's "French Essence", Dominique Browning's "Slow Love Life"and Ed Ward's "City on a Hill" (he's the rock 'n roll historian for NPR's "Fresh Air" and lives in Montpelier). Just like every other old dog in this world, I have my 3 or 4 favorite spots where I go every morning to do my business.

I do, actually, type like the wind.....the consequence, I suppose, of having studied piano for thirteen years and having typed since I was about seven (my handwriting is ATROCIOUS). Some idiot recently wrote (on "Salon.com") that I "obviously have too much time on your hands"; I publicly responded that she didn't seem as though she typed very fast or, for that matter, thought very fast, either.

Your menu sounds just fine, by the way. I'm just about to change clothes and go to dinner at the house of a friend who (while lovely, smart, funny, and all sorts of good things) makes a POINT of letting folks know "I can't cook, and I don't care about it".

We'll see how this evening turns out....

----david terry

Unknown said...

I am so sorry that you have had to endure such heat. This lovely oasis must have seemed like a mirage when you came upon it. The photographs of Ben and you are priceless...he is in heaven and you are close. My dream is to travel the world with Henry and Bob (and husband Scott), finding and using the best swimming holes. But first...May your heat abate very soon (like tomorrow)! Fondly, Leslie from Portland

dustjacket said...

I'm so pleased that darling Ben could get some relief (& both of you of course:), it must be so hard for our furry friends in such heat.
take care,
xxx

Velvet and Linen said...

Ben is so smart! He knows how to keep cool (and look cool!).

I am trying to prepare myself for the warm Summer days in Ojai. We are digging a pond right now. I have a feeling that I will be sitting in the shallow water, just like you and Ben!

xo
Brooke

kabay said...

Ben was having a grand ole time enjoying himself in the cool water. Some people said that dogs don't smile. If the look on Ben's face on frame #4 is not a smile, then I don't know what a smile looks like. He's in nirvana by the look of him and so were you Heather. What a magical little place to come upon, on a hot day. Hope Ben had a good nap when he got home.

Thank you for sharing this fun part of your day with us.

kabayoz said...

lol...can't spell my name right, maybe because it's not real...anyway, love to you and Ben.

Amelia aka kabayoz

penelopebianchi said...

And what a moment it is! The look on Ben's face told the whole story was exactly as you were telling it!

what a treasure to find there!

I adore your blog and all of your posts!

Thank you!!

Penelope

penelopebianchi said...

This is completely hilarious!?!

Has anyone googled 8 island and seen what he/she saw?
I am going there! I will report findings!!

Yikes!

This is a "classic"! And a "saver" typos and all! There is admiration, enthusiasm, and passion here! Yikes!!

Sara Louise said...

Holy schnikeys it is hot! I can't set foot outside my door without sweating and then when I get back inside I just sit on the couch and puddle. It's gross and no fun. I need to find myself a nice cool brook to stick my feet into :)

Lost in Provence said...

I have been thinking about you Loree. We all have to hang in there for a few more weeks and then things will get better.

And my Mom's last Golden, Emma would jump into any pond--even if it was icy!

Lost in Provence said...

Something tells me that the Clintons and the Gores did not have nearly such a groovy vibe on Figure 8 Island...But then again, maybe they did...

Lost in Provence said...

I don't know Contessa, you might want to add a few more dishes--just in case! :) It sounds divine, as always...

Lost in Provence said...

I think it is safe to say that he is! :) But wow will he feel better once the heat has broken...

Lost in Provence said...

There has to be one somewhere! I swear it is a better solution than sticking your head in a puddle of rosé--which is what we have been doing. I am so over this heat!!!

Judith A. Ross said...

Ah David,

It just goes to show how deceitful the internet can be. I am a country girl through and through. Though now that I think about it that "skinny dip," which took place about 30 years ago may have been my last one .... for now at least!

Gustia said...

With all this heat, the olives on our trees in Menton have shrunk to the size of blueberries, the water meter is whipping around like a windmill and even our cactus look parched. Ben has the right idea. Have someone drive you to a cool mountain stream, jump in, and stay there!

Acquired Objects said...

Ben looks so happy in the water I'm so happy for him because I know how much Dylan dog loves it too. Stay hydrated and if your newly discovered pool isn't to far go back often for Ben's sake. I can't get over how much your boy looks like mine.

Love how blue your eyes are they're gorgeous!

XX
Debra~

BigLittleWolf said...

The pictures are lovely, and how divine that you and Rémi and Ben found a few moments of relief. The canicule is no joke.

(Hide away, try to stay cool!)

Karena said...

Heather those are the most special moments. A wonderful spot to cool off and relax and Ben must have been in heaven!

xoxo
Karena
Art by Karena
2012 Artist Series

Ballet Pumps And Roses said...

I don't like it too hot either - especially when I'm 24 weeks pregnant. Lovely post - good luck :)

Joanne

http://www.balletpumpsandroses.com

x

Lost in Provence said...

Does this mean you are back in France?! Must. meet. soon!!!!

Lost in Provence said...

Holy canoli Joanne, you have a bun in the oven, you certainly don't need more heat on top of it! ;)

Gustia said...

No, it means my assistant has a camera! I'll be back soon though. Maybe when the weather cools down...

Looking Glass said...

You two are so very cute! I can imagine how perfect that would feel on such a hot day. Sydney is finally warming up and I cannot wait! Although sometimes in Summer we get 40+ degree days....

~ Clare x

penelopebianchi said...

No wonder 57 comments! This is the beauty of life! This is why so many people follow this blog!

The "secret"!

You show it and you live it!

Thank you from all of us who read you!
You are a gift!


Penelope

Annie said...

What a beautiful dog!