There is something in the air in Provence… I am sure of it. I mean something different, something intangible… something magic. There is a tranquility and a peacefulness that settles over people when they come to visit. I used to believe it was my romantic nature that dreamt up this very special atmosphere, but now, I have come to understand that it is not my imagination or my idealistic ideas that cloud my eyes… it is Provence.
I see this time and again… friends arrive, buzzing from their lives in the city to be greeted by a calm, almost languid atmosphere. Within hours they shake off the mantle of their everyday lives and start to respirer… to breathe… they breathe deeply and breathe in a way that opens not only the lungs but also the eyes. Some would argue that beauty alone can do that for you… and I acknowledge from the bottom of my heart that our part of Provence is extremely beautiful… but it is more than this. The air is like a tonic, an old fashioned elixir… Instead of ‘taking the waters’ as one did in the olden days of Spa towns , I think we must ‘take the air’
I have learnt to breathe… it does not come naturally to city dwellers and it is not an easy accompaniment to over worked and highly strung individuals. Breathing and relaxing takes practice… but somehow it is inevitable, inescapable almost, when I am at home in Provence. I surrender my free will to the sounds, the scents and the beauty of the garden… to the air… and I too, slow down and re-appreciate the ambience or my surroundings. I hear the birds and I attempt to decipher the language of the cicadas… I luxuriate in the warmth of the sun and I inhale the scents of lavender and fruiting fig trees… it’s one potent spell, and when under the influence of this Provencal sorcerer… time becomes a very flexible notion. I like that this Provencal ‘air’ slows me down, grounds me and makes me appreciate the natural side of life… I prefer the me that is less perfectionist and more comme ci comme ça but most of all I adore seeing my friends and my family blossoming in this environment
As I mentioned… there is something in the air… xv