We see what we want to see; we tell ourselves the stories that comfort what we think we know.
I don't take the beauty of Provence for granted. It can be wide and sweeping or minuscule and intimate. An endless variation of songs to light up the dance floor. And how I do love it when I am asked to dance.
But, but after ten years of living here, I can be a snob about certain things, as unattractive as that is to admit.
For example, I don't like crowds and feel foolish when caught in the midst of them in full on "ooh" mode.
Fanning women who have "A Year in Provence" poking out of their bag and agressive baseball cappers extending a selfie stick towards the sky make me grumpy.
See? Right on time. Snobby.
And certainly no place tends to prickle my skin more than Les Baux-de-Provence.
While I have a healthy respect for its fame, I see its potential and shake my head in dismay at the endless line of identical tourist shops lining the cobblestone streets, those selling fake savon du Marseille and polyester napkins imprinted with bees.
And yet, here we go, the entry to the humbling part...
...of course I wanted my Mom and her husband Leonard to see it while they were visiting in September.
And they were enchanted.
So how could I not be? Wonder is delightfully contagious.
All of those veils of ideas, judgements and expectations fell away. The crowds pushed around me and yet it didn't matter. Of course, they have the right to stop and point and rave.
By giving in, I found myself back in Les Baux, the one that I know to love in my heart, even when my head tells me otherwise. Stories silenced, vision cleared. In seeing it through the eyes of loved ones, I discovered it anew for myself, Provence plus one.
Eh oui, I seem to have written quite a few times about this enigmatic village (and I am not done yet as there will be a post on the main church there in the future). It is fun to look back at them now...especially in seeing how certain places have changed or not over time.
If you would like to understand the history of the village, click here.
Another shift in perspective, this time via a camera trick. To read, click here.
I love everything about this post (save that the photos are so small!): here.
And for my friends in the other hemisphere, you must believe in spring, so please click here.
Oh! And thank you all for your lovely responses on my previous post. For those of you that have been wondering, yes, Ellie arrived safely and is already making her new house a home...