Ode to the South of France

20 April 2017

If I told you about my Place, my favorite place? about the South ?

Easter Sunday. For some the bells are ringing the sacred mass, for me, it is time for my appointment my place, my moment. My safe haven, my source of inspiration.

Let’s go, together, to my place!

This is an inviation to travel. Indeed, we get there as we would on a pilgrim, to take time to reflect.

First, there are a few rules: let’s start with a deep breath. Then, close your eyes, just for a moment. Now, connect with yourself and forget all the rest.

At once, you feel the warmth on your skin and your face. That is the sun, hight and bright. In a second time, there is this light breeze that makes nature move around us. Apart from the soft sound of the wild herbs moving around, and our hair flying in the wind, there is nothing but silence.

Barefoot in the warm sand, every bit of the dune is illuminated by this amazing game of lights and shadows. We let ourselves be embraced by it, we get lost in it.

Then, just around the corner, all of the sudden, you can only be dazzled by the one thousand and one diamonds dancing at the surface.

We are overwhelmed by its immensity, by its perfect horizon, by the color of its blue. It varies according to its mood, you could almost believe that you could read there the reflection of its soul. The Great Blue – La Grande Bleue- what a perfect name for it. The fresh marine air is now coming to us, its very particular smell. The soft lapping waves and the noise of the foam that comes crashing at our feet takes us, relaxes us, almost like a relief.

A smile on my face. I can breathe. I breathe through my lungs, my brain, with my soul.

Free, myself, finally relieved from the imperceptible – but sometimes heavy- handcuffs that tie me to my day to day routine and responsabilities.

Like on ointment on my heart, with my wandering soul, sitted on this stranded tree, as it is was waiting for me here, here between earth and sea, between ink and light, I let my writing pen tell you about it.

It tells you about my place, my sacred land, my roots: the South of France.

To tell you about me without telling you about Him would be impossible. It is my history, it dictates my values. It defines the essence of me: authentic, generous, impulsive, wild at times, free spirited, solar obviously !

The South: its blue sky, with a shade of blue that I never find anywhere else. Its harsh lights and shadows that tell you long stories just to themselves. The cicadas song at 2pm, in the summer when it is so hot that you can’t even move ! The dog sleeping on the door step pretending to be garding. The slam noise of the petanque echoing on the village square shadowed by the pines trees. The elderly and their wrinkled hands sitting on the bench watching life go past them, still adressing one another in the old dialect. The vineyards and the wheat fields running to the horizon.

And then, my Place, with its singular name inherited from the Occitane dialect: “La Maïre” – translate “the sea”.

It is time to travel back to reality, to come back on that beach to the horizon that I know by heart. It goes from Mont Saint Loup to the vast Pyrenees. It has been part of me since chidhood, and I love it no matter which season.

It is time to close our eyes, to grasp every detail, to record them. They will become a safe haven for the days when life isnt so bright. They will become inspiration in case the page would stay blank. We keep a memory that is both sharp and blurred. It is fragile and precious, just like a secret we would safely put away in our drawer box.

We close our eyes, we breathe, we smile … until next time!

A girl from the south !

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