P1070308Beauty can take so many forms. The voluptuous lusciousness of a Georgia O’Keeffe painting; her magnificently lined face photographed in her later years. The plump, kissable cheeks of a baby; the undulating starkness of the Sahara’s sands. The south of France has both extremes of beauty–the soft and the rugged. Right now, we’re in the soft season.P1070426P1070424P1070419Douceur in French means both softness and sweetness, which captures the spirit of spring in France. The air is perfect–as our kid remarked, it’s just right no matter what you’re wearing, whether a T-shirt or a sweater. It’s richly scented with newly cut grass and so, so many flowers blooming. We want to fill our lungs greedily with this nectar. Even though our winters are far from insufferable, we gorge on spring as if at a banquet after a famine.

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My crummy camera almost captured the gaudy pink sunrise on the snow-capped Pyrénées.
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I think that peak is Canigou, near the border with Spain…also near the Mediterranean.

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And, turning around, the Black Mountains.

The trees have mostly filled out with leaves, changing their shape from Giacometti sculptures to something more in the style of Botero. The platanes that were heavily pruned stay bare a while longer, with little tufts of green looking somewhat ridiculous on such big trunks. The vineyards are the same–pruned down to a single vine per stump, little leaves popping out in single file, catching the sun like emeralds.P1090884

The architecture and engineering of an anthill, bigger than my fist. How did they make such a perfectly round tower, with perfectly round entries?P1090893P1090894We take our time to savor the market, noting the appearance of each new player on the season’s stage. Bernard, the strawberry man, is back, attracting a line of customers, many of whom he greets by name, not having forgotten during the winter break. Promises of summer show up from Spain and Morocco in the form of melons and tomatoes. It’s so hard to wait, but we will hold out; flavor doesn’t travel well.P1070373The cafés are full…outside. The locals greet each other with kisses; the wide-eyed tourists take it all in, probably wondering (judging by the number of people toting both cameras and real estate brochures) whether maybe they, too, should move here for the sweet life.P1090907P1090900P1070405

18 thoughts on “Relentlessly Beautiful France

  1. Just yummy. We are in the middle of spring here, finally. We saw the Botero exhibition last year in Aix, and a terrific analogy for spring bursting out in an over abundant way.
    Ali

    Liked by 1 person

      1. There was both, also many Picasso’s. Some of the sculpture was monumental in size. His take on the Great Masters is brilliant. It was a wonderful exhibition. I think it has finished….
        A

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Those images are gorgeous. I sit here near my south facing window, waiting for more buds to appear. I’m ready for the air to be perfect as your kid says, and yesterday was awfully close when I took a 2 hour walk. What a pleasure to see your world through your lens. Thank you for taking the time to capture it. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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