Another winter has almost come and gone.  As I sit listening to the rain pitter-patter against the windowpane, I think about the wintertime and how life adapts to the changing seasons.  I arrived in Provence with arms open wide to experiencing Mother Nature’s diversity, her glorious beauty and ever changing moods captured with each new season.  And as my first full winter in Provence nears an end, I realize how silent life seems in these colder months and how my feelings about this season have evolved over the years.

As I have aged, I have begun to welcome the colder months.  Winter is a time for hibernation and seems to take a slower pace.  And although life moves on, with the colder weather comes an innate sense to pause, reflect, recharge and slowly just like the flowers and trees, rejuvenate, reawakening into fresh new blossoms with the arrival of spring.

Although there are cold, wet and windy days, winter in Provence is manageable, it is a brief respite in an otherwise usually warm and sun-drenched year.  The villages sleep and life is quiet.  As we meander through empty streets, our footsteps are the only noise to echo through the silent cobblestoned alleys.  Chimneys busily burn filling the sky with their gray clouds of smoke, Mother Nature visibly rests and the land is barren.  The rain arrives, saturating the dirt roads into muddy puddles.  The mistral blow piercing the stillness with its fierce howl, whistling through the roof tiles and slamming any unhinged shutter in its path.  And that Provence light, most surprising of all, dusty hues of pink and blue softly paint the cold winter skies into a warm array of pastel colored clouds.

As the raindrops continue to fall, I listen to their soft melody against the garden stones, the fire burns and my mind wanders to this year in Provence.  I think about the four seasons and how we adapt, just like the nature surrounding us, to the seasonal changes of the year.  With each season comes new discoveries and a new way to see life... and if we are lucky, much like the bud of a rose, to transform into a beautiful new blossom...