One year ago this month, we first arrived in Provence to start a new chapter in our life, to walk away from the known and enter into the unknown. We found the courage to sell our house in California (which we were blessed to even own) and to move across the world, to give ourselves a chance to do something new, something entirely different from the life that we had lived, and for me, fulfill a life long dream of living abroad in France.
Provence is vastly different from southern California in so many ways that I could even say they are opposites. In what used to be palm trees, sandy beaches and freeways is now open green meadows, olive trees, vines as far as the eye can see and narrow winding roads. Provence is everything that you imagine and more. It is purple fields of lavender, medieval villages perched high on a hill, a glass of chilled rosé, that delicious sun-drenched cuisine, simple but overflowing with flavor, and yes that beautiful Provence light, seducing you no matter the season. But for me Provence has come to represent much more. It is simplicity. It is quiet. It is rejuvenation.
Life has significantly changed from my California world, but I would venture to say now for the better. There is something to be said about simplifying your life so that you can actually see and feel it. To remember what it is to simply be. One of my goals in moving across the world to the countryside was to slow down, to give myself time to listen and to hear. There is no clutter here, no noise and no distractions. And although I still don’t have all of the answers, I am learning. Learning to listen. Learning to hear my heart and not the chatter in my mind. Learning to be more patient, especially with myself. But most of all, I am learning more about myself and understanding the importance of self-love. I have thought a lot about the timing of this move, why now? I realize that I was meant to be here in this moment of time because it is in this moment that I needed it most.
This year has been one that I won't forget. A new landscape, new seasons, new rhythm and new outlook. Postcards of my Provence that I will take home are fields filled with crimson colored poppies, morning walks through old villages, long Plane tree-lined roads, laundry hanging on the line because there are no dryers, cicadas singing in the summer heat, warm buttery croissants fresh from the oven and winding country roads leading to nowhere... all colored in that special Provençal light. But aside from this incredibly romantic place in France where I have lived, perhaps Provence will now live inside of me and will be that time of my life that I found myself a little bit more...