|My room with a view|
Don't get me wrong, over the years I've relished my brief visits to the country, mostly wine country. But my visit to wine county in France this month (Rhone Valley) has given me a new love and appreciation for the country and the country.
OK, I'll admit to spending time in the cities of Paris, Lyon and Avignon on this trip. And then there was a week in Croatia and several days in Italy to break things up a bit. But the countryside has been my working home base for a month.
At home in the US, the illumination I see in the middle of the night comes from streetlights. Here, it comes from the stars: THOUSANDS OF THEM. Every night I wake up (for whatever reason) I fling open the windows, (if they aren't already open) lean my head out and just stare in amazement at the brilliant, twinkling canvass laid out before me. Yes, I can actually see the stars twinkling. Awestruck.
|The sun rising, spreading down the hill, not quite to the valley yet|
My view is one of hills and valleys and rows of vines; my favorite kind, they grow grapes. Instead of hearing motorcycles, sirens and neighbors coming home late, I hear the mistral winds; howling at times. I've heard the hooves, heaving breathing and grunts of the wild boar searching the rocky slopes of the backyard for grubs and other treats.
Then as the sun rises, I hear the howls and barks of the dogs, hunting those boars. They must not be doing such a great job as I have yet to hear a gunshot. Whew.
In the country, although no one is in a rush on a Sunday morning, it helps to get to the bakery early to be sure there are still croissants, so buttery and airy they literally melt in your mouth. I have been ruined for life by these incredible delicacies found in the small village of St Remeze. Heavenly.
It's true that most of the markets and many of the grocery stores are closed here on Sunday, so it takes a little planning and pre-shopping to be prepped for the day. But instead of being annoying (as I would be back home), I find it refreshing, as now we can truly have a day of rest and relaxation. We have all that we need.
We have all that we need.
Thank you God.
Thank you God.