The Colors of Summer

Labor Day has come and gone, marking the end of the season and the start of those lingering Indian summer days.  Summer has begun to release its grip, the shadows of the light are changing as they dance across the stone floor and the nights are finally cooling.  A heatwave completely enveloped Provence this summer, arriving in early June, lying like a thick blanket over the countryside through much of August.  It was hot, some days stifling hot.  We became shade seekers, the days cast around the hours of the sun, we found peace in dim light behind closed shutters.  The Provençal sunshine is relentless, illuminating the days in profound brightness and blurring the focus between the the haze of the sun and reality, as Provence falls captive to a brighter, harsher hue.  The heat can be intense, usually dry and still, except for those days that are filled with the howls of the Mistral, effectively forcing life and us to take a slower pace.  The days move slowly and hours seem to melt away.  The summer solstice rolls onward, the green grass begins to softly crisp and the land seems quenched for days of rain... but present throughout, peaking through that bright light and hot Provençal heat, are the colors of summer….