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

August 28, 2016

Provence harvest



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.





5 comments:

Marnie said...

Aw, Don't stress about the screen time while you're settling in, Emilie. It's not like they're watching endless ads and the crass rubbish you get on regular TV. Sometimes those familiar episodes/sounds/storylines are a comfort for kids. All the nightmares and other emotional issues are not an indication of your parenting either, but are the natural product of huge change, and huge change in return promotes resilience - something kids sorely need as they mature. Just keep doing your best and it will all work out and the girls will be more adaptable and resourceful as a result. There are plenty of chances to pause over guilt regarding parental decisions right through the process, but life is never going to be straight forward or easy or ideal for any of us, yet we all seem to adapt, no matter how long it takes. I think this move - from an outsider's persepctive - will be a wonderful thing for your family and especially those little ladies. Their creativity will thrive there, as will their health! Hang in there : )

Emilie said...

Thanks, Marnie! Some good perspective. Resilience. I do want that for my kids. Really appreciate your thoughts.

Amanda said...

Bonne rentrée les filles!

Hope all goes well on Thursday :)

Rosie said...

Absolutely love these posts! What a beautiful place to live. Can't wait to see you all!

three glass bottles said...

Aw, this is so sweet. You seem like an absolutely incredible mama. Is there anything that we can bring you when we come to visit? Cheez-Its? Hah, just kidding. But seriously, I would love to give the girls a little gift.

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