Sunday, August 28, 2011

Back Light

A truly stunning morning. The heat has broken. Friday's rain wiped away the white smudge in the light and something has changed. Yes, I know that autumn, my very favorite season, is on its way because of that subtle shift towards gold in the air. 

And so a walk with Ben was in order. Sunday mornings are always the best time, less horn honking, less tourist pushing. Just the bells of St. Trophime, calling and calling the faithful then thanking them heartily.  I could feel that sound in my bones as I headed up the hill towards the Arena, watching the shadows bend as my path did. At one moment, the ringing was so loud that Ben startled and looked up at me with wide eyes. "I know, Ben, it's the bells"--I always talk to my dog at length wherever we are. Just another one of those wacky ladies, I suppose.

I am certain that Remi will criticize this post as he has similarly in the past: "Stop only looking up!" But after so many years of living in New York City where I spent so much time looking at my feet, it feels wonderful to change my sense of orientation. Happy to see. And I do look straight ahead, at the details. Grapes dangling over an arbor in a small square. Or even down at the mix of pastels swishing in Van Gogh's garden at his former hospital. Beauty is after all, the best treatment there is, no? 

In between two seasons, with a new apartment, a happy dog at my side, a Sunday full of promise.


  1. Your morning sounds wonderful and Dylan is wishing he could have a walk but Irene is hitting us. We always talk to Dylan out loud no matter where we are so you aren’t so crazy. I wish you a wonderful and lazy Sunday enjoy some outdoor time for us please.

  2. Hello Heather:
    We do know what you mean when the light changes to a golden glow, exactly as it is now in Budapest with a cooling breeze to take the heat from the sun.

    What a wonderful time to enjoy a walk with Ben, especially away from the madding crowds and traffic.

  3. I love autumn too Heather. In fact, both spring and autumn are my favourite seasons, perhaps because there is a perceptible change in the air and the light, as you say, which creates an exciting sense of anticipation of change and new directions. Whereas summer and winter seem to follow on more gently. Interesting that you looked down in New York. Really? With all those amazing buildings? That is really interesting. (I am forever bumping into people on the street from looking up instead of where I am going!)

    And as for talking to Ben....I am certain that animals understand a much greater amount of language than we give them credit for. After all, if they can learn their own names, which they do without trouble, why do they not learn a lot more of what we say? I reckon they get the last laugh. (Or maybe I am just a wacky lady too, haha!) If I tell my cat Bluey that "I will be back in a minute" he will stay in the room until I return.

    Beautiful photographs Heather - I can see the golden glow. Especially love the little windows in the door with the iron bars. Virginia x

  4. Dear Heather,

    Well, that was a lovely posting, so thanks.

    Oddly enough, I spend all my time in France looking DOWN. I always seem to be tripping, every two minutes or so, over a curb, an unexpected step, or s-o-m-e-t-h-i-n-g. Of course, I've also had five (count 'em, FIVE) different pairs of bifocals over the past two years, and the optometrist has yet to figure out the correct prescription. This is all a patently middle-age problem.

    This time next week, we'll be arriving in France for the first leg of our annual long stay (the first leg entails looking at the new & only grandbaby). I'll be glad to be gone, from here, actually; an earthquake and a hurricane in one week has dampened my usual affection for Home Sweet Home.

    thanks again for the good posting,

    David Terry

  5. Debra, my goodness, I hope that you battened down the hatches! I'll say it again--would like to hear that you had no major damage now that the storm has passed please.

    Jane and Lance, somehow I imagine the light even more golden in Budapest--or is that just the tinge of the exotic?

    Yes Virginia, the promise of the new, just as in your beautiful garden. And it is different when you live in NYC, especially as a young woman. It isn't exactly down really but a slightly detached diagonal that anyone living in NYC for several years seems to perfect. As for Ben, he understands so much! Not just his vocabulary, which is huge, but he is also able to put words together and I swear he reasons things out. It is why I talk to him so much, because he understands!

    David Terry, good to hear from you as I have been worried about you as well. And you are a wise man indeed to look down in France! And yes, of course our eyes are tired--how could they not be? I have my first pair of reading glasses. Sigh. Part of the deal. Sending you good energy for your preparations...We are having the most glorious weather!

  6. Keep looking up!!!!!!!!!!!!Those photos!Keep em coming!

  7. Things are looking up (and they are beautiful).
    Thank you for sharing your beautiful morning.


  8. Thanks again everyone. It is just so lovely here right now!

    And Design Dork, you might be interested in seeing the two posts that I did in June "A walk around Arles"--more architectural details in them. :)

  9. It is so satisfying that I, a wife, mother and homemaker in Kansas, can read what you say about the bells and remember when I was staying in an apartment directly across the street from the arena and that very church! Every morning we were woken by the bells ringing directly outside our bedroom window, and what was at first a little irritating, soon became our welcome. I love that I had the experiences in Provence that I did, as short lived as they were and that I can picture it all so clearly as I read your words. As much as I love my conventional, hectic and sometimes mundane life, I fully comprehend how not so very different or far away I actually am. I can’t tell you how many places you describe in your writings that I say to myself, “Yes! I was there! I remember it exactly as she describes!” I love that! Once again, Heather, thank you...


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