ok, i want a house in provence (me and everyone else). a weathered old stucco thing with peeling periwinkle blue shutters. this is the stuff of bestselling memoirs about fixer-upper-money-pits, but i am not immune to the appeal of this southern french province - the endless olive groves, dramatic "alpilles" mountains, the beckoning mediterranean sea. i navigate the winding roads by bicycle mostly, hot provence wind in my hair, feeling my freedom. stopping to rest in the small village cafe's, sketching as my coffee cools, trusting that my high school french has stuck enough to get the basics i need, and then i am off again.
this is not the first time i have peddled a bicycle in france, but i was 20 years younger and more fit back then. without any previous training bar the occasional ride to the 7/11 as an adolescent, i set off with my love on a year long cycling trip through europe and asia. starting in northern france as our training ground, we reached the mediterranean 4 weeks later with expanded lungs and even bigger thighs, ready to take on the hills of northern italy and eventually the himalaya. so as the smells of provence fill my lungs, i am reminded of that storybook time and yet feel the presence of being here now, fit enough, though far less ambitious, looking to pedal only to the nearest boulangerie for my loaf of bread ~