There are moments in life when we feel compelled to stop and go back for a second look.
Remi and I were barrelling along a back road in the Var when in a flash something pulled at the corner of my eye. "Hold on, can we turn around?" By now, Remi knows that this is a question that I don't ask lightly. He obliged and we were awarded with the view of a lopsided old bridge tucked in the hills of a forgotten valley. The noonday sun flattened out the land in the palm of its hand, something was missing. We drove on.
After enduring the winds rustling around Grimaud, we decided that they would keep us from enjoying a sunset glass of rosé in St. Tropez as had been our plan and turned back. "Why don't we stop again at that bridge we passed earlier?" Remi suggested. I should have known. A perpetual light hunter, that one.
Ben jumped out of the back of the Range Rover with a shake of delight. How strange this terrain with its bumpy lava-like crust dotted with lichen. The parasol pines pushed the horizon out and up, in a very Seuss-ical manner. Curiouser and curiouser.
As can happen when faced with such utter beauty, some silent agreement forms between Remi and I. We both need to go our separate ways for a while and define it for ourselves. Ben plays tag between the two of us. As on that particular evening it happened to be close to the time when he usually hears his favorite word in the world, he shadowed my heels, looking at me questioningly "where are we?".
"A rather good question," I thought. I let my eyes tell me where they wanted to go and as has been often the case lately, they zeroed in on the small, the details. The minutiae. How they fill up our everyday lives, so often without notice, without appreciation for all of the joy that they can bring.
The little things constantly lead us to the big. I looked up and gazed at the bridge, now bathed in the love of last light. How many bridges did I cross to get here? To be right here at this moment?
There can be whole blocks of time in our lives, weeks, months, years, where we feel "stuck". Caught up in webs of worry or weighted down by grasping silent emotions. And yet like the water flowing underneath that ancient bridge, we are always moving forward and being moved. Particle by particle and hope to hope.
A shudder passed over me as the cold from the sun-drained lava crept up in my skin. But I shook it off and let my gaze soften, wondering what bridges to cross lie ahead.