⪧ We left our life in New York City to make a new one in Provence ⪦

April 2, 2013

Easter in Provincetown.



I like going to Provincetown because time feels different. Places I have loved going seem to share that quality. It feels thicker and more luxurious and waking up feels like a bond with the place because you’re so avid to be there and breathe it in. All the good places I know share one quality: outdoor space. All those spots have sky that unglues you in the beginning and the end, ground that gets refashioned almost in front of your eyes, wind that carries sea or salt or zest from pine trees. Basically, nature. While John’s home is enough to fill the senses for days on end, Provincetown’s version of nature outdoes anything.



















The only way Colette would nap in Provincetown was while in the carrier against my or someone’s chest (one time she did lie down with Stephen and stay asleep), but almost invariably she wanted movement to lull her. That meant long morning and afternoon walks. Literally 3 hours of walking a day. I was thinking about what I would choose if a baby were only going to do one thing or the other – sleep exclusively in a bed or sleep exclusively in a carrier. I would definitely choose carrier.





























On one of our walks, Colette and I visited the Provincetown cemetery and since it was Easter, the venue seemed fitting for the walk. Provincetown is the place of the first landfall of the Pilgrims in 1620, so deaths go pretty far back here. While Colette was dreaming, I visited headstone after headstone reading names and watching the way the moss eventually embossed them with time. I was fascinated by families – everyone buried together, six little miniature headstones of babies in one family who lived no longer than 6 months each or plots where generations of the same kin rested. Sometimes a family stone would have numerous names, all with birth and death dates clearly marked, but then one name would only have a birth date imprinted and no one can live for 200 years, so I wondered if maybe that person got lost or estranged. There were at least 7 or 8 tombstones for infants who died in 1854 and I wondered if some affliction had spread in the small Cape town that year. Walking through the graveyard made me think of all the stories, so many lives, so much history. It made me want to be a historian who pieces together the mystery of time past through traces left behind and hunches based on inference.









At some point all the early waking and walking did tucker me out, so doting uncles Stephen and John volunteered to take over baby while I took a lying-on-the-bed-nap. Little did I know how they would torture her! Apparently, Stephen decided Colette would love a round of “dress-up,” with some elaborate wigs. Blonde curly, bleached straight, short/spiky, and on. Stephen put on a wig and Colette’s face scrunched up like she was chewing on a lemon – with big, pouty lips. Once he knew the reaction, he tried on wig after wig and Colette narrated her discontent with that face and confused hands. It was like she was asking why, why, why? (She seemed overwrought about the wig wearer and what was happening to him). Here are Stephen and John imitating Colette’s discontent over wigs.



6 comments:

Amber Larson said...

Emilie, this is perfect. Your thoughtful perspective through images and words brings me back again and again. Thank you for taking the time. I know these things don't write themselves. Well, maybe only sometimes. . .

Xtreme English said...

Wonderful post!

Brad said...

Great post with beautiful photos. Looks like a memorable Easter in Provincetown.

Maria Petrova said...

such a breath of fresh air... and love the wig games — so stephen!

Jill said...

I love that place too, and I haven't even been there. I've fallen in love through photographs. My favorite of this post was the one of John and Colette from behind. It's priceless!

JanoFed said...

Moment de nostalgie à la vue des photos de Princetown, images qui m'en rappellent d'autres, souvenirs lointains d'une enfance en bord de mer, quand il faisait bon s'écrouler sur le sable, apercevoir de rares esquifs voguer sur la mer, ou les moulières dégagées par la marée.
Paysages oubliés qui refluent de l'arrière-mémoire, celle la plus tendre de l'enfance où tout se forge et fait grandir. Que de souvenirs en perspective pour Colette !

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...