Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Banon in the sun



I know that it is not healthy nor wise to dwell in the past but I think that I need to borrow a bit more of November's sun this week. Would you agree? 

It was a magnificent morning in Banon, the town that is a ten minute drive from La Buissonade. Remi and I had left the dogs at the cottage for once and it felt wonderful to stroll hand in hand instead of hand in leash. As much as we do love our furry friends, they take up quite a lot of space and energy. Well, to be more precise, ahem, Kipling does. Ben has been trained to be a photographer's dog since he was a wee pup and is as discreet as can be. 


Alas, the other, our wild one, would not have been welcome on that particular morning - November 11th - at the small ceremony for Armistice Day. It was a moving minute of silence at 11am, one that made me think of sacrifice and those lost for the common good.



Afterwards, each of us carried our thoughts up the hill to the uppermost levels of Banon, a walk that we had surprisingly never done before.


As always, in our quietude there was extra room to see.



Banon is not a flashy town. These are simple homes lived in year 'round.


A certain pride, whether of the national or local kind, touches me.



I wonder what histories have passed through and been forgotten. Hundreds and hundreds of years of footfall, hearts beating.


Shadows shift and a small blue door opens as a well-dressed women steps out to water her plants.


Tending to the present, then... 


...all while respecting the past. 

Perhaps that is the balance I seek today, that certain blast of sun to warm then open me up slowly, slowly preparing to bloom.


to listen:


I have probably written all of this before for a different day for another scene. It sounds familiar. But as I have also already mentioned in one of my favorite posts, sometimes the looseness of my memory is an oddly wrapped gift.




22 comments:

Sharon said...

Some wonderful photos, I can feel the warmth of the region. We are hoping to visit Arles in September and I will put Banon on the list of new towns to visit. Love your posts.

Silke Bauer said...

Oh my, what a sky! And still in november! I heard it rains a lot the last week in your area. Des graves inondations dans Le Var, Hyères et La Londe... So I think those photos help to brighten up the mind. They too have that atmosphere of ease as in your previous post. Wonder what those people living in little towns like Banon live of... It may not be so easy. Or am I wrong?
But again wonderful images and thank you also for the Nick Drake. Funny, I have three of his records but did not yet know this song... très mélancholique...

Heather Robinson said...

Hello Sharon. Arles in September? You are in for a treat. :) But both Banon and Simiane are quite far for a day trip from Arles if that is your home base. I would say 1 1/2 hours to Simiane, 2 to Banon easily. To do a swoop of the Lower Luberon hill towns of either Roussillon and Gordes or Menerbes and Oppede le Vieux might be more accessible. Just a thought. :)

Heather Robinson said...

Nick Drake is definitely an "acquired taste". :) Eh oui, la mélancholie...mais comme c'est magnifique cette musique, sa voix...

Banon is interesting because there is one of the very largest bookstores in all of France there! http://www.lebleuet.fr/ I think that they emply pas mal des gens. But it is also very agricultural. The famous Banon cheese is from here plus there is a lot of lavender production in the area too. It doesn't seem like a poor town nor a rich one based on my visits. A mix of both and not really in between.

Silke Bauer said...

Books! Cheese! Lavender! Thats cool! Thank you for sharing all that information!

(Since I am always in search for some french literature...that was an interesting link!)

edgarone2 said...

Strolling, hand holding hand, discovers the simple things, ordinary lovely things warmer than the November sun.

And to hear ancient stories, “hearts beating,” told behind closed doors, of cobbled path.

Looking back is a gift of time, “time that doesn’t stay.”

puppyfur said...

Sigh, beautiful as ever.

Rowan said...

Beautiful prose Heather! That book must be peeping its head out, just around the corner!
I like that you have one furry enfant that is slightly wild and a spirit of his own! A bit like les enfants in human families!
Cheers,
Deborah

Splendid Market said...

What a lovely stroll.

breadispain.me said...

What a beautiful town! I love the photographs - lovely. Le sigh, really need to do another nice Provence visit but I suppose it will have to wait until it is warmer. Only a couple of months to go before some nice days return!

Loree said...

We are in for some storms but they are not here yet. Sending you blues skies from a sunny little island. Banon is a pretty place. I absolutely adore these little towns you take us to.

Heather Robinson said...

Oh! Than you should look here: http://www.actes-sud.fr/
Arles is home to one of France's most important publishing houses, Actes-Sud. :)

Heather Robinson said...

But does it ever, Edgar? ;)

Heather Robinson said...

Thank youuuu.

Heather Robinson said...

Book? What book? hehehe

And Kipling truly is a handful but you know what? He would protect me if needed I know it. And he would follow Remi to the ends of the Earth, unasked.

Heather Robinson said...

Glad you enjoyed it as there is a bit more to follow, tomorrow.

Heather Robinson said...

Oh perhpas up there in chilly Grenoble but it is gorgeous out here today!! Pllleeez come down for a visit?

Heather Robinson said...

There are a few more that I have photographed but not dealt with yet. I love how they each have their own personality.
Stay safe in the storm!
xo

silkannthreades said...

Dear Heather, I am so glad you remembered to link to the beautiful peonies. That is a post to do again one day, please? The looseness of memory is a gift to the artist, if we believe Lewis Hyde who is writing a Primer for Forgetting... "Drawing from myth, from politics, and personal psychology and creativity, A Primer for Forgetting will be a layered inquiry into the virtures of memory’s often ignored twin. Stay tuned!" http://www.lewishyde.com/in-progress/forgetting

Heather Robinson said...

Wow, thank you for the link...I can't wait to look into that!!!

Sara Louise said...

You know, I've never climbed those steps in Banon up to the upper part. Isn't that something!

Heather Robinson said...

That is kind of surprising!! It is gorgeous up there and as you can guess, the view is amazing! I bet you can see to the LPV on a good day. :)