A Beautiful Day In the Neighborhood
Some days the love is strong….very strong.
It’s been the most perfect of Spring weather this week. Days of cool sunshine with hillsides blanketed in wildflowers and the Pyrénées glistening white and sharp in the background. Everything has seemed particularly colorful this week, with hues super-saturated and the minutia of the natural world coming to life; bees humming, butterflies and birdsongs, all re-surging from their winter slumber into the joy of Spring. We are wrapped within it, intertwined with it, insulated from everywhere else.
Does anywhere else even exist right now?
Polly and I have been lost in this wonderland of ours, oblivious to the outside world as we walk through the grassy fields, sniff the intoxicating scent of lilacs and lie in amongst the weeds to photograph their beauty. It all seems so new that I question if I’ve missed it before, much like a picture that’s been blurred and suddenly becomes sharp. Or perhaps I’m just noticing it now, thanks to time away and being forced to sit still and see what’s right in front of me.
Week two of lockdown three, and we’re rolling right along….
It’s A Dogs Life
Polly is living her best doggie life here in rural SW France.
She’s an older lady now, but she still approaches each day like a fresh young pup.
Mornings she is overflowing with energy, the brisk air heightening her senses. She’ll gallop down the garden slope, tail high and nose to the ground, her old eyes bright with excitement. The beginning of a new day is always the beginning of a new adventure.
Then it’s breakfast and another walk, this time a longer one around the neighborhood. She always chooses the route and we take our time, sauntering along the country roads, saying “hi” to neighbors and neighbor dogs and just enjoying the morning light and calm. We’ll pass at least an hour this way, bringing in the day.
After all this excitement comes rest time. A mix of long naps and leisurely walks, dreams of chasing rabbits, dinner and time in the grass to enjoy the sunset. An evening stroll under the stars is her final adventure before she goes bed. The end of another full doggie day wrapped up with satisfaction as she stretches out on the mattress and falls into a deep, long, snoring sleep.
I like to think this is her favorite time of year.
Just like all animals I think she senses the resurgence of Spring with particular intensity. She relishes the young grass, rich in scent and will spend all afternoon lying in it and absorbing the thousands of smells around her. Often she will groom herself too, carefully licking her front legs and paws before she takes a deep sigh and lowers her head contently into the weeds. I’ve never seen any other dog do this, and can only assume it’s because she was raised with two cats. It both warms my heart and breaks it a little.
Ultimately I just love that she loves it here.
It’s a Photographers Life
I’m always happiest when I’ve got a camera in my hand.
I’m inspired to photograph when I’m in a good place, or perhaps good places inspire me to photograph. In truth it’s a symbiotic relationship that’s intimately tied to my soul. When I’m in a funk my camera gathers dust, a sure sign that the old demon of depression has taken its hold again. But when I’m aware and nature captures my eye, I suddenly see pictures everywhere and can’t help but try to capture them. I go into “the zone” and can end up photographing for hours, lost in my own bubble of creative bliss.
I’ve been traveling many times that way this week.
Spring is going crazy in rural France, with wildflower weeds springing up everywhere and young shades of yellow and green blanketing the hills to the horizon. I forget how…many…shades of green there are, an infinite palette that only nature can produce. This time of year you see the strongest contrast as trees spring, grass grows, and bushes bud causing a ripple of color that flows like an ocean wave across the horizon. The transformation is mesmerizing and so frikkin’ beautiful.
When it’s this good, I want it to last forever.
It’s A Stationary Life….For Now
Obviously there’s not much happening right now thanks to the national lockdown.
Two weeks have passed, and perhaps only two more to go? The virus numbers are coming down, abeit veeery slooowly and hospital numbers are plateauing maybe, hopefully. It’s not happening fast enough IMO, but apparently the will is strong as re-opening plans are already being talked about, the glimmer of hope being offered up in urgency, much like water to a thirsty desert. Perhaps there’s not much else the government can do at this point, without the population going nuts? Either way restaurants and bars are going to be allowed to open outside staring mid-May, and travel (at least within France) will be opened up for summer. We’ll see, eh?
In the meantime we’re stationary here….for now.
Paul’s still in USA of course, and has been fully vaccinated (he got the one-shot J&J, the day before they paused it*). He’ll be staying on a few more weeks to build-up some immunity and visit family, before coming home in early May. I’ve got hopes of maybe, possibly getting a vax in the next few weeks (a few leads in the works) which means that by June both of us could be “fully done”. That would open up the possibility of cross-border travel within EU, which might actually mean going somewhere!
It’s a tantalizing thought that I’m trying my hardest not to get too excited about (just in case), but wouldn’t it be something?
*In case some of you are worried for Paul, or perhaps you got the J&J shot and you’re worried for yourself, the reason the vaccine was paused in USA relates to thrombosis events that are very, very, very rare. A total of 6 cases in over 7 million shots given, which means there is less than a one in a million chance of an adverse reaction. Those are exceedingly low numbers! We will stay aware of course, but at this point we are not particularly concerned, and IMO neither should you be 🙂
So I’ll Just Keep Traveling Here
I’m still, I’m moving, I’m here.
As long as Spring keeps me company I’m along for the ride, and Polly too. It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood, so I think I’ll get out the camera, take a walk, and travel a while right here. Let’s see where the journey takes me now.
Where has your journey taken you this week, my friends? Perhaps you’ve also traveled in your neighborhood, or perhaps you’ve picked up your wheels and rolled further? DO share and comment below!