L'Été

What is it about summertime that exudes freedom?  A universal carefree spirit that seems to arrive as the hours of the day get longer and the weather grows hotter.  Summer seems to hold a philosophy all its own, a fleeting moment in time when we are brought back to our childhood, days of our youth filled with ice cream, swimming pools and fireflies.  Three magical months, the time of year for which we all seem to wait with eagerness, when the smell of cut grass fills the air and laughter fills the night with each day seemingly running into the next.

This has been my first full summer in Provence and while my surroundings are different, the feeling that summer instills is not.  Summer is the soft caress of warmth on sun kissed skin, the juiciness of a ripe peach, time spent with friends watching shooting stars while lying carefree on the warm asphalt or giggling catching fireflies in my backyard.  It is sultry heat that lingers for days, warm summer breezes, the uncontainable excitement of an upcoming vacation and lazy days spent out of school.  Summertime envelops all in its world, filling us with its magic and effervescence, and the belief that everything in life is as good as it can be.

Summer in Provence has been a season of lavishness, enshrouding us in greenness, blooms, the music of cigales and purple and gold meadows.  The days hot and the sun scorched earth thirsty for shade, we find shelter under the large plane tree, watching clouds slowly float by, drinking rosé, enjoying the generous bounty of this season and more so this time to renew, refresh and revive our souls.  It is now almost the end of August, another summer close to an end, and what I have come to realize living this season in Provence is that the nostalgia of summer never fades.  Those summer days of my youth have forever shaped my sentiment of summertime.  Whether I stand in Provence, California or Vermont, summer will forever be cherished souvenirs of my childhood…

“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.”   —F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby