Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Ardeche under the trees

The rain is a coming down outside my window but I am certainly not complaining. No. The land in the surrounding Alpilles is so parched, it is as brown as burnt butter. So I know that today is a good day, one to help the wild things grow.

And besides, I have so many wonderful memories to keep me warm--enough to last the winter that we didn't have! Do you remember my tiny video for  Dejeuner sur la herbe? With the birds chirping insistently and the blossoms floating by? 

 We had headed to the Ardeche after a week that was so rotten that we had to drive into a neighbouring province to try and escape it. But Life can give us such gifts. Just to say, "Hold on, it will be all right". It was such a day. And there was even a touch of mystery in the old stones surrounding us. Celtic marks dating back two thousand years. No one knows what they mean.

"I'll be right here," I called out to Remi as he picked up his tripod and camera. "I'm not going anywhere," I added, half-giggling and leaned back into the petal-strewn grass.

How wonderful are those rare moments when vision softens into mere lines traced on the sky and there is no pressure to make rhyme or reason out of what is being seen or felt. Senses are awakened only to go back to sleep again.

Little prickles of fallen branches and the soft smush of moss under head. The worn husks of almonds already emptied of their treasures by an early harvest. Perfume carried past and then gone.

Ben arrived next to me with a thud. Panting. Tired of following Remi around aimlessly in the hot sun. And knowing that there were probably still some crumbs from our lunch that could soon be his if only he looked cute enough. He did.

I am not sure how long I laid there. Quite sometime. At some point I raised my head to see a chipper family winding their way back to the beautiful bastide on the back of the property after a long bike ride. Their happiness mirrored my own and I feel it again, fresh, as I type. No amount of gray capped skies can push that out of me. Let it rain!


  1. Greetings from Florida - I love your blog - It brings back wonderful memories - Thanks for sharing your pictures - Have a very blessed Easter!

  2. Oh, absolutely MUST (sorry to go all bossy skoolmarm on you, but know I am RIGHT) go to the following link and listen to this song, which is by one of my two favorite living singer/songwriters. Folks are increasingly noticing that she's sort of the American Edith Piaf (which gratifies me to no end, since I was saying that ten years ago, before she became justly well-known).

    Do, please, go to the following...and make those two boys of yours (Remi and Ben) listen along with you....and thanks for the lovely, evocative posting:

    go to:

    David Terry (who really hopes that this link doesn't send everyone hopping over to "Watch Hot Asian Underage Lesbo Twins Get It On!" computer's been acting very wonky in the past two days)

    1. Oh I love this song and have the CD it is on. Good choice David!

      And, yes, Heather, another evocative post. I could almost smell those almonds and feel that soft moss under my head.

  3. And when, pray tell, does Ben NOT look cute?

    But yes, memories are such precious tricks of our endlessly fabulously fascinating brains. They can whisk one away in a microsecond when need be. Which is not to say that rain isn't quite simply beautiful as well. I adore being tucked up cosily inside and listening to the pitter patter on an iron roof. Bliss! x

  4. Oh Heather, these pictures make me want to come over there right now. Waiting til early October will be so so hard! My 94 year old Dad passes away in late January and I am just getting back to some of the things I love - one of which is reading your blog. Thank you for sharing the beauty.

  5. You have such a nice way with words and images that steer up all kinds of feelings. I can smell the fresh crisp air, feel the sun, take in the countryside... Hope you have a wonderful Easter Break.

  6. Oh Heather, You really have THE eye for mother nature! The eye and sense for discovering!

    Happy Easter and warmest greetings from the Perigord,

  7. The day you describe sounds like my ideal fair weather outing. A modern-day Alice in Wonderland tale! Lounging, dreaming. And nothing beats having handsome Ben at your side!

  8. Happy Easter Heather, Remi, and Ben! I love your blog and love when you include Ben. He looks like such a happy guy. Blessings

  9. Now you have me jealous of your early spring Heather and of your blossom leaves. Just today as I was standing out under the dark skies, in the blowing winds and being pelleted by snowflakes I was dreaming of the mock orange blossoms soon to be. No matter what the weather or what we may be doing our loveable faithful friends, our goldens, always have the same happy expressions on their face!


  10. Thank you so very much everyone for your kind comments!! Things have been a bit hectic here so I haven't been able to respond as I would usually like to but I am sending all my Best for the weekend ahead!

  11. So many beautiful areas around you to visit with such a sense of unforced history! We have been having splendid spring weather as well!!

    1. Glad to hear it Stacey! You have been so busy lately. I like to think of you relaxing a little at least outside on the weekend!!

  12. Oh, so beautiful! Sounds like a perfectly magical day. Looks it too.

    ~ Clare x


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