A rainy summer day here in the South of France and we’re off to an Australian kangaroo park with two of our grandchildren, my daughter and her husband. Don’t be mistaken, you know me by now, we’ll have to stop on the way back at the local “brocante” shop of course!
“Left, right, left, right” the windscreen wipers are singing their very own song. Some soft Celtic ballads share the car with us. A lovely melancholic voice and some flute and harp weave their path to our ears.
The whole day becomes different, thanks to a soothing veil of misty raindrops, covering the villages. Shades of green light up, the leaves of the trees offer us this grand view. Every roundabout differs in its own beauty, well maintained they are here in France, offering an abundance of flowers and seasonal decorations in woven baskets or cornucopias. Waving wild grasses with feathery leaves, bushes with red pinkish flowers, gently wave in the breeze of the day.
Napoleon’s trees still guard the road from the time they were planted, they gave his soldiers a shady place, out of the sun, whilst marching. The so called “black mountains”, once offering shelter to many prosecuted Cathars, in the end becoming their graves when they were closed in for eternity, loom up on the horizon. On our way to Carcassonne, blocks of massive rocks pop out, towards the road. A lovely solitary tree, rooted on the top of a mountain, guards the valley. Endless straight lines of vineyards await their “vendange”. Bails of hay lay chucked here and there in the surrounding fields. The smell of freshly cut grass, scents the air. Old chunky olive trees and a burst of yellow catch our eyes, the endless fields of sunflowers are showing off. Then follows a soft purple: the lavender bushes. A speck of a different purple is offered by one lonely bush in the middle of a field. A lovely hawk soars by.
All this makes you feel as if dreams have come true. With its breathtaking views in all their simplicity, the French countryside is a beautiful gift to watch, one of endless joy, creating an enchanting day. It sooths my heart to know this is home, we live here, amidst all this rural beauty!
And then gone is the rain, leaving a hint of freshness in the air after days of 35 degrees blazing heat. Solitary clouds are drifting by: a whale, a dragon, both hovering over the magnificent castle of Carcassonne in the far distance. A normal day in France always breathes ancient history.
The attentive reader might be curious for my found vintage treasures at the end of the day… well stay tuned, I’ll wrap them in my next post, promised!