Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Skipping towards Christmas in the snow


I know that many of you are in the midst of preparing for Thanksgiving in the States right now but this morning I awoke with an entirely different holiday in mind. 




When I opened the shutters, I cried out with a childlike delight "It's snowing!"--one that for me is whisperingly linked with the spirit of Christmas.


Yes, a surprise gift had been left overnight on my doorstep. So, I bundled up in my finest, leashed up the puppers and headed out to explore.


It is the first time that I have walked Kipling in the snow and I was curious to see what his reaction would be.


He loved every minute of it, eating the snow and daring Ben to rounds of mad zoomies that I couldn't photograph as I was gripping his leash with both hands!


But there was also stillness curled up within the movement.


I would look up to find Ben quietly watching the flakes fall. As intelligent as he is (and he truly is), he never knows what to make of snow.


Nor do I really. I never take it for granted in Provence...


...its comings and goings...


...the ephemeral draped over the historical so casually...


...like time's open palm, hesitating before pushing open the front door...


...of what feels like Home.


And since I am not with my extended family for tomorrow's feast, I will be grateful for my own little one.


Because every day is worth that. Everyday has exceptional in it.


So, for those of you to whom it applies, please try not to worry about the turkey any more than necessary nor the fanciness of this years particular blend of cranberry sauce. It isn't really what matters. Just enjoy the act of giving thanks. And for the rest of us, well, why not too? Simply for breathing in and out or the quiet thought that while we may be far from certain ones, we most certainly are not alone. 

Put that thought under your tree and skip towards Christmas with me...

And oh! I just realized that today is the beginning of Hanukkah so my very Best all who are celebrating that as well. My goodness, it is Holiday Central here at Lost in Arles, isn't it? Well, we are a festive bunch.

47 comments:

  1. Oh, I love this, Heather. And, you even made a rhyme.

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  2. Touching words and beautiful images. I have never experienced a white Christmas - perhaps next year in France. Warm wishes

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  3. I love how the snow makes everything seem quieter, calmer. Your magical photos really transport me! Karina would be doing zoomies right ahead of Kipling.

    And thank you for your beautiful thoughts as well.

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  4. Such lovely pictures and as always, your words are divine. I'm thankful I found your blog Heather, blessings to your and yours this holiday season. Thankfully I don't have to fret over a turkey. Cheri

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    1. That is a lovely thing to say, Cheri. I see that you are in Cali...so I am guessing no snow for you this year? ;)
      PS. I graduated high school in Santa Cruz and my folks lived in San Diego for nearly 25 years so I spent many summers there--how I miss California!

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  5. These are special pictures. We don't get much snow in Austin, but it has been around the freezing temperature for a few nights. I love seeing your dogs and your city, especially in the snow. My two dogs have never experienced it.
    Happy Thanksgiving.

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    1. Since we don't really know how old Kipling is and it snows so rarely here, I didn't know if it would be his first snow or not. He seemed fine with it so I imagine it wasn't but I still remember the wonder/confusion on Ben's face the first time it snowed when he was a puppy!
      Happy belated Thanksgiving to you too, Richard. I would love to get to Austin one day...

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  6. My cats hate snow. "What is this thing on my fur? Get it off!!!"

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  7. It's making me feel chilled just looking at those images….it gives the streets a very different atmosphere doesn't it? Much older, somehow...

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    1. Ooh, that is an interesting thing to say. Hmmm, maybe because of the flatness of the light?

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  8. Oh that was so beautiful Heather. I can't believe that it snows in Provence. I thought the weather was mild, like it is here. The photos are so lovely. Snow just changes everything doesn't it? I am just a little bit jealous :)

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    1. It is really rare--I think that maybe we have had only four "real" snowfall in the eight years that we have lived here...? You might be thinking of the Cote d'Azur--not far away but a much warmer climate. And yep, snow, especially the first one, makes everything magical.

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  9. Happy Winter to you Heather! Enjoy each day. I saw a phrase the other day that read, "Life is short. . .so live it!" Good words to remember!

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  10. Beautiful pictures of a beautiful place. Thanks for sharing them!

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  11. We get so little snow here in this part of Canada that I'm always happy to see it come. It is a gift. Every day is a gift. It behooves us well to remember that.
    Your photos of Arles in the snow remind me of how I saw the city - on an extremely hot June day - how different how ephemeral it looks. Lovely, lovely.

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    1. Lorrie, I think that Arles is meant to be seen under a bright white sun. But I do appreciate the quiet beauty of winter too...not to mention the emptiness in the streets! ;)

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  12. Your photos express beauty, gratitude, and impermanence that seem paradoxically together.

    Thank you touching the significance of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah's celebration, a celebration of freedom and gratitude.

    How much snow falls in Arles a year? Ours in Lake Tahoe is gone.

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    1. Most years we don't get any at all! But that doesn't mean that it isn't cold. Our Mistral winds make things feel chillier than Tahoe!

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  13. Well, we never get snow, here in Melbourne. The closest ski-fields are a 3 or 5 hour drive, depending which one you go to. I remember driving around England and seeing the snow silently fall, while we were in Cambridge. So pretty, so magical, especially if it is a new experience! I can understand Ben's wonder at seeing snow fall! I'm with Kipling. I think mad zoomies are absolutely the best sport to play in snow!

    Love your photography as usual, Heather. Especially the first and second last photos are so romantic! wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving.
    Cheers,
    Deborah from Melb

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    1. Thank you so much for the wishes, Deborah--they are much appreciated!

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  14. I loved the quietness of your surprise morning walk. Did you know that I left Canada to get away from the cold and snow? But when it snows here I confess that it makes me a bit homesick. Mind you, not enough to make be go back! Happy Thanksgiving Miss!

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    1. Gustia, I also left my country to get away from cold and snow but I have to confess I really miss it now especially when I looked at this pictures.

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  15. Ah, how beautiful is the first snowfall of the season! Your photos capture the beauty and magic of it (and the silence). My Jack loves snow, but barks furiously at hail. And, yes, best of all is the seat on the sofa or a warm spot on the rug. I am happy to join you in giving thanks.

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  16. The music matched to the snow flakes so beautiful that I can see dancing them in the air. Everybody was happy
    and savoured the silence on this morning. What more can we desire? ...and I always love how you combine text and pictures

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    1. Thank you Mumbai and I am glad that you liked the music! I took time to find something that I thought would fit. :) And it was just a really happy moment.

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    2. oh , wasn't sure "match " or "fit" ... Terry would certainly have a funny story for that mistake.

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    3. Oh no, it wasn't a mistake on your part at all, actually match is a perfect word choice. You are too hard on yourself, Mumbai!!!

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    4. Not too hard on myself....I only try "perfection" (see yr comment to Silke) Heather, which I try to achieve. Thank you for your always kind replies. I really appreciate it.

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  17. Fifty LOVES snow! He and I are both very thankful we get snow every winter in The LPV :)
    Happy Thanksgiving my friend xo

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    1. And to you--especially for your Thanksgiving Weekend! And Fifty is a lucky duck, everyone knows that! :à

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  18. Of course, beautiful photos - I have such serious dog envy of you and Miss Sara Louise! WHY CAN'T I HAVE A DOG??!?! Because we travel too much. yeah yeah yeah. I loved the sentiment of this - it is always hard to be away during the holidays but you are right to remind us to be thankful for our exceptional lives. :)

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    1. It is called...a dogsitter! True, we have the best on the PLANET (a couple who met while volunteering at the ASPCA, she works as a vets assistant, he is home a good bit, they have a nice garden and two awesome doggies)--I think that our puppers, especially Kipling, is happier there than with us! But you CAN find someone awesome and then you can leave your furry friend worry free. Look at the sites Cardicanin and Holidog. T'ink abouddit.

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  19. Beautiful!!! Happy Thanksgiving!!! What a beautiful snow/post/sister - I loved seeing the pups in the snow and would give anything to have seen pics of zoomies! We miss you so much - thinking about you all day and we'll talk later! I love you!!!

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  20. Oh c'est beau Arles avec la neige...
    Envie d'un petit repas chez Rabanel...

    bonne soirée

    Manon

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    1. Oooh, quelle bonne idée Manon!! Ok, maintenant j'ai faim... ;)

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  21. Dear Heather,

    well, to say it with Gil Scott Herons words: "I'm new here" and since I did not find any other way to contact you this will be quite a long post. (which will be in the future much shorter and more appropriate) I blame it on you for creating such an inspiring blogue. (:

    I must admit, I am secretly following your blog since I found the image of Ben at the Cap Bénat when I was working under a lot of pressure this summer trying to find some relief in searching the web for pictures of my favorite area in France at the time.

    Somehow Ben led me to your Blog et peu à peu j'ai fait connaissance avec toutes les histoires y offert. Pas encore toutes les posts mais ceux que j'ai lu m'ont touché profondément.

    Dès lors, je passe les soirées libres avant l'écran pour regarder les nouveaux posts avec grand plaisir …

    And I am still trying to describe, to put in words why I find your blog so intriguing. Here is my explanation to myself and my compliments for you:

    First, of course your landscape and architectural photography is gorgeous. – Beauty in simplicity – Sometimes like a painting – Sometimes sculptural – then again narrative. Coming along with the freedom of the snapshot yet creating a persistent impression and becoming sublime.

    Then again, it is your writing that captures and makes us dream and wanting to explore. Tellement légère autant que profond.

    Finalement c'est la façon dans laquelle les histoires sont attachés aux images. En allemand on dirait "tissé" comme un tapis. Quel beau tapis. A rag rug to grow.

    And, as it seems, just like you said about Mr. Reed – authentic. Or is it that you create an authentic atmosphere? Je serais d'accord pour les deux.

    Merci pour partager tant d'images et d'histoires pour nourrir nos fantasmes et faire bouger nos pensées.
    Thank you for all those inspiring links like the one of food, Martin Luther King, Laurie Anderson, cabanons and so on and so on...

    Even winter is miraculous on your blogue.

    A thought that you might have already had: trouver un editeur pour lancer un beau livre!

    I wonder if you will be in Arles next February/March to give me and my dear companion your tour through le centre historique. I may be in the area. Is it anyway possible in winter? Though you may be very busy, finding a new home…( Your present one is so masterly renovated. )

    Now, there is one last, but v e r y important thing to mention:

    I LOVE BEN AND KIPLING!!! The sweetest kings of the mountains!

    Best wishes et bon courage,
    Silke

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    1. Silke, I am absolutely speechless. Sans mots et franchement, ça c'est rare! I read your incredibly gracious and generous note last night just before falling to sleep with a massive smile on my face. Because you understand everything that I am trying to do--although I think that you might give me more credit than I deserve for the result! I especially appreciated the idea of "tissé un tapis" as my favorite posts are when I can meld the photos and words together. But again, I still have a lot of work to do! Yes, I would like to try and find an editor for a book but I am still working on the photography aspect. With time...

      And we will have to see about a walk--because of the possibility of moving as you mentioned. My email is on my profile so feel free to contact me privately for more info.

      That Ben brought you here, well that says everything for any friend of Bens is a friend of mine. :) And not to worry about writing long comments, we are a chatty group here--ni d'écrire en français, j'adore. Bienvenue Silke!

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    2. " but I am still working on the photography aspect. With time…"

      To my mind, art is not always about perfection it may be more the tension between the perfect and the imperfect that stirs us. Certain perfection can also wipe the art and the spirit away.

      C'est qu'il faut trouver la balance. Pour montrer quelque chose d'imparfait mais vivant il faut être très courageux. Je sais un peu ce problème puisque j'ai étudié l'art et maintenant je travail comme graphiste. Les graphistes aime la ligne et les artistes le détour.

      It is exactly this mixture of "photography" and "non-photography" that I appreciate so much about your blog.

      I am still a bit unexperienced with the gmail account. But I guess you need to add me to your circles and only then I can see your email-address. I have added you to mine so you can see also my profile (which is not much yet)

      Bonne soirée et bon weekend á tous!

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    3. Oh I had forgot that my email is no longer there now that I am linked up with Google! Oops. My address is robinsonheather (at) yahoo.com.

      And in noooo waaaay am I interested in perfection! I am really happy with the messy and the imperfect (see my current post). My friend Judith did an interview with me that talks about how I see that--the link is on the post called 401k:
      http://lostinarles.blogspot.fr/2013/10/401k.html

      But I am trying to...be more specific, I guess. The words and the photos are not always melding together the way I hope the will. And yes, I do understand that tension that you are talking about. Art is one thing, delivering for a client is another.

      Bon Weekend à vous aussi,
      H

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  22. How lovely. Et je te souhate une merveilleuse saison.

    xo
    D. A.

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  23. Gorgeous, fabulous post, Heather! I always like to save your blog for the last in my readings so I might savor what you are sharling. Thanks everso!

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