Thursday, April 25, 2013

Beginning in the underbrush




A billow of thyme releases underfoot as I step out of the car, stretching my crashing xylophone nerves, the tension of le départ. As has happened on our previous escapes to the Luberon, Remi and I are somehow on the cusp of a fight over nothing, as if we were overly eager to dive into the release of les vacances. Slow down, Heather. There is nothing but a big stretch of time rolling out in front of us like a magic carpet.


The carpet of earth--pliny greens that bend, miniscule buds blossoming and twigs that crackle underfoot--pulls my focus downwards. Or maybe it was just the thyme that has whispered me in.


Regardless, every millimetre is my garden to scan and wonder, "How different" from the pavement usually shoring under my feet.


It seems to be a welcoming gift.


We turned off the road near Joucas, then on to another and finally on to a dirt path that crests on a small rise. Hidden but the same as all of the countryside around us. Nothing special and yet...


...for a moment the size of the world seems to inverse with the prickles of sensations that arise.


We flip down the back of the Range Rover to let the dogs run. I unpack the picnic quickly bought but carefully chosen and watch the small smile of approval as Remi looks over the delectables spread out on the blanket. I knew he would be pleased. We eat quietly, occasionally scolding Ben and Kipling for their insistent begging, something they would never dare do at home.


As Remi finishes his millefeuille, I pick up my camera and stray back towards the old stone wall that had initially said, "Turn Here." Scraggly vines point accusingly at a cloud cover that is trying to break but failing. I don't mind. 


For I am content to be in the sous-bois, that French term that is so much lovelier than the English 'underbrush' and am reassured that no matter what lies ahead, I have already sipped my fill of beauty, pure.

30 comments:

  1. We have experienced those moments and those scenes. Only were never able to share them so beautifully written and photographed, ox, Gina

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    1. Merci, ma soeur! ;) Thought you would like this.

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  3. 'Slow down, Heather.'

    Heather, honey, I didn't do what you and the song said just now but I had to skip down to the comments when I read those words exactly at the moment I heard the word, 'Slow down you crazy child' in this song I've had on a loop this morning: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZdiXvDU4P0

    More in a bit.

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    1. 'for a moment the size of the world seems to inverse with the prickles of sensations that arise.'

      That is pure.

      H., I haven't had a chance to respond to your comment on 'Rhapsody and Green,' yet but I will take the time to do it properly. Please come visit later to see.

      Have a beautiful day. Oh, and check out Wishbone Soup Cures Everything, on my blogroll, for the letter V in the A-Z thing. Perfect. The two of you both need to read each other's posts, today.

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  4. Don't you just love the smell of thyme. Hope you managed to slow down. I need to slow down. I think we all do. Slow down and smell the thyme :)

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  5. When did you start writing?Did you keep journals?Really touching..............am still reeling from the DOE experience!I can call Saturday and find out what they did with her!

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    1. Gosh, that is a good question. I did keep journals and they saved my butt!! So I would say since around 16 or so but only professionally since I moved to France.

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  6. These photos should make anyone slow down and take notice. The soft green of Spring is so amazing and you truly captured how it gradually unfolds in these hills of the Luberon.

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    1. Thank you, Laura...there were so MANY shades of green. I can never get over it.

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  7. These photos are very nicely composed.

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    1. Merci, Mr. Laoch. I am trying to be more specific.

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  8. Do the French have a special name for the smell if the sousbois?
    Lovely gentle photos...

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    1. Apparently they do CSW! I just asked my honey and said, "Oui, c'est le humus." Of course I was like "hummus?!?" but then looked it up. hehe

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    2. Hi Heather, Just to say I had a look at the photos and the Bayon one and the one with the monks are amazing. It just takes me back. I would love to read about your trip there - do you have a link to the article? I am rather infatuated with the area now. I am trying to go back early next year to do a deeper layer to it. I tried to look on your blog for previous posts you might have possibly done but I haven't seen any. It would be lovely to read it!

      Humus eh? I knew there was a word :)

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    3. Naomi, I left word chez toi but will do so here too--I would be totally happy to send you a copy of the English version of the article. They are all just sleeping on my computer! Could you send me your email at robinsonheather@yahoo.com?

      And ps. the photo of the Bayon was taken after a short rainstorm--and yes, the sky absolutely was that color. It was one of the highlights of that trip...

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  10. Beautiful photography. I was surprised to see the tiny purple flowers in one of the photos because they are also underfoot in Alabama. It is amazing how much we all have in common if we would just take notice.

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    1. It is so true, Debbie. I was also happy to see the wild chives that were on my childhood farm in Ohio growing rampant there too!

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  11. Lovely shots of one of my favorite parts of the world. Nature's details are amazing (like the dewdrops on clover) and your photographer's eye so tender and observant, Heather. Bon weekend!

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    1. That is really, really kind of you Ann. Merci et Bo W-E à toi aussi!

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  12. How beautiful and I found myself fascinated by the multitudes of insects scurrying about in the fields near the house. Nature here is wild and bold x

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    1. I imagine it to be so, Lisa. How different your corner of Italy is from what so many of us imagine...I am loving discovering it through your eyes...

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  13. Poésie...

    There's something about what grows wild and the renewal of the seasons in Nature. Divine.

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    1. Merci, D. I find much comfort in the extreme beauty of the small...

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  14. You've captured my imagination even as I sit in a virtual paradise in Crete. Lovely photos as usual!

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    1. Crete! Jackie, I am green with envy. I have always wanted to go...

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  15. I want to close my eyes, inhale the different scents rising from the rich earth of the underbrush and do nothing but imagine the beauty of the Luberon. Pictures are beautiful as always. Thank you Heather!

    xx Amelia

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