February 8, 2017
February Flower Field
Every day we pass this field of flowers next to our house. After school one day, we walked there to meet the blooms. They are winter whites - growing in most of the vineyards. They remind me of snow, but they smell thick like honey. The girls listened to their first instinct and immediately ran to the thickest patch of flowers to swoop down and start gathering bouquets. It was a moment I wanted to keep - early February in our life here in Provence. Slower season, heavy rains and winds, but when the sun shines it layers the fields and our skin with affection.
I’ve felt the slower pace lately. At the risk of sounding rotten, I find some elements of life tedious. I thought I would come here and discover my domestic side - that it had just never been given the space and time to come alive. Alas, even with endless space and lots of time and markets full of muddy vegetables, fresh from the ground - I find cooking drab. Small children come with schedules and nutritional needs that buck the free wheeling style I love. Pots and pans have to be scrubbed three times a day. I can confirm that one cannot run away from drudge work - it hounds whether in the south of France or New York or Iowa. So, an attitude shift is key. I often ask my mom how she managed to stay so motivated through eight children and years of meal-prep, bedtimes and schedules. I think it came down to the ability to find beauty in small things and interactions and her deliberate choice to assume a do-it, dig-in sort of attitude. Also, humor - small children are full of that. Romy has been doing this thing where she pretends to be a doctor who speaks in English with a French accent. All the 'r's are thick with the French ruh. Cracks me up.
I do appreciate these moments in nature with the girls. I think kids are best outside. Fresh air brings out the best in all of us.