August 28, 2016
Today we went to the village harvest festival - les vendanges. Colette, with her dress pulled up and tucked into her collar, stomped on the fresh crop of grapes in a big tub - with the local village children. She had a disgusted look on her face at first, but soon enough she melted into the grapes and loved the sensation.
The very start of harvest season here. Appropriately, I feel like for the first time in many years I am aware of true seasons of the wild things around me. I am intimately familiar with the form of the moon and where it is in its cycle every night. We eat most meals outside. We eat up fruits and vegetables from the market down the road - all things that are grown in the fields around our house. Stephen gave me Alice Water's The Art of Simple Food before leaving NYC. I've enjoyed reading it and finding that many of the suggestions in the book are really intuitive in this part of the world. Heading to the market and just discovering what is freshest at that moment - asking the vendor what is tastiest and how she likes to cook it. The potential in tomatoes (and they are heavenly right now around here). Tapenade, anchovies and herbs. Real simplicity based on the quality of the ingredients.
My favorite activity is pulling up a map of the near region and selecting a little village - doing very little research beforehand and just driving there/showing up. Balade-ing. The Lubéron is almost mystical to me. Definitely feel high-spirited exploring there.
Excellent ice cream cones in the Lubéron as well.
On the home front, still feeling chaotic - need some regularity and measured rhythm to our existence. I think it is coming this week. La Rentrée. Romy has done very well in her adaptation period leading up to school (small chunks of time at the crèche). She basically runs over to the baby dolls and toys, looks at us and says, 'see you later' when we go to drop her off. No issues. Found the right spot for her doudou on the wall.
Colette begins school on Thursday.
The trickiest part for me is still parenting. It is bizarre. I can think about it rationally, but I still take the nightmares and emotional woes as a verdict - somehow a reflection of how I/we are doing providing the necessary emotional scaffolding for this big shift in their lives. Too much screen time. In order to unpack boxes and organize or paint or make food or entertain visitors, I turn to Daniel Tiger or harebrained Peppa Pig. I get a knot in my stomach thinking their brains are turning to mush (as I tell Colette) and project into the future - they won't be as adept or creative. Sheesh. Ridiculous.
The reality is that their days are mostly spent digging and swimming and breathing Provence air. Pretty fine.