Familiarity and rediscovery go together.
We never mean to neglect and most of the time we don’t even realise it is happening.
Taking something or someone for granted is a non-intentional dismissal.
Sometimes, not all the time but occasionally, I take Provence for granted.
It’s not a question of being spoilt or complacent and nor is it deliberate. What is right in front of us can blur and blend until we don’t see the reality anymore.
Provence is a region blessed with physical beauty, with history and with a lifestyle envied the world over; Provence has a habit of pulling the wool over the eyes and seducing in the subtlest way.
It seems unimaginable to “miss” the unique qualities of such a blessed region and unthinkable to be so contented the individual qualities that set Provence apart can be ignored. It happens.
It happens because life can be un-real in Provence.
These past few days I have tried to look at Provence with fresh eyes and with a clear mind; to remember why I fell in love with Provence. I asked myself do those reasons still stand? What is it now, all these years later, I find so compelling?
Everything is different, yet nothing has changed.
I re-opened my eyes and re-tuned my focus. Provence has changed in many ways since my first trip in 1995 but not in others. Progress has not escaped Provence and yet the reasons I love her are still so evident.
Simply, Provence is an assault on the senses. Provence makes you feel truly alive from the very first glance. The light, the sounds, the physical beauty and the scents; the scents are what truly set Provence apart. Intense and magnified, Provence is a place to discover the essence of nature, the elements and to re-connect with the simple.
And the simple is the richest of all.
I lose sight of the simple in every day life; big cities can do that to you. It’s easy to take for granted, to become overly familiar and even jaded in a “big” life.
The art is to nurture the familiar and at the same time treat her like a new best friend. Familiarity and rediscovery make for a happy pair. xv
image, garden roses from home photographed by carla coulson