I am taking a little break from my quasi-mystical ravings about a certain village that seems too beautiful to be true in order to share something tiny but that pleases me to no end.
We are being pulled into the time of year when the light is at its most spectacular in this corner of Provence. Every evening there is a silent show, each slightly different, as the sun bows down with the grace of a prima ballerina's final curtain curtsy.
My favorite aspect (and I know that I have written this before) is when those last rays seem to pull sideways with the rake of skeleton fingers across each surface. It can be surprisingly revealing.
The other evening, Remi was passing by the window in front of my desk when he paused and stared. "Look at that...un cadran solaire." What was he talking about? I went to the window and sure enough on the wall directly opposite were the faint scratchings of what had once been...a sundial.
While I love to guess time based on the shadows created by a large iron hook further down the same wall, the real thing and had been there all along. And I have been looking at that exact wall every day for nearly two and a half years!
Arles can be sneaky like that, offering up little gifts when you are least expecting them. Something akin to making the baby in you gurgle with the jangle of time's keys, I would guess.
As I type the sun is warming up with pliés for this evening's performance but already I can begin to discern that scraggly half-mask, carved who knows when and for whose benefit.
Just as I was getting ready to hit publish for the above, I had an idea. For as long as we have lived in this apartment, I have been fascinated by a small window built into one of the massive outer shutters. As we are so high up off the ground, when you slide the panel back, you can't see the ground nor the sky really. So what was its purpose? To spy on the neighbors? Well, I think I have a solution. Our little sundial is what you look towards, exactly. So this little window very may well have been installed as the easiest way to tell time from a 17th century clock.
Neat, isn't it?