May 18, 2017
Lavender + Provence, right? Honestly, I am so taken by these fields of May poppies, I think they might be in direct competition with the lavender. May is the better time to come to this place! Perfect weather, very few tourists, water to swim in, it is a dream.
I faithfully go to a yoga class about 30 minutes from my house in Saint Chamas where an American friend teaches at the studio she has created at her house. Her clientele are all local French women. I admire them - they are beautiful and fit and generally between 40 and 50 years old. (I will add that French women seem to truly inhabit their bodies - they stay in them through childbearing and years of living and eating. These women anyway). I deliberately place myself next to one woman in particular - her energy spreads to my mat. After an inspiring class recently we were talking and she mentioned a field of poppies that is just remarkable - different from the others. It goes beyond itself over and over, she said. I wanted to go. She said to go beyond Saint Chamas on the road to Istres (which is a beautiful drive). She said I couldn’t miss it.
So on another drive, after a hike in the wild land around l’Étang de Berre, Xavier and I drove toward Istres from Saint Chamas. The field smacked us in the face as we drove around a curve. We entered the field and waded up to our knees in thick poppies. We kept wading and I was so glad Xavier encouraged us to keep going because the first field was merely a tiny fraction of the whole. The field extended back 10 times on itself. The red was more overwhelming than any green. I ached to just keep going. When we did go back to the car and start driving it became clear that we had only seen one direction of the field. It actually extended out in every direction in the same way. Marvelous. I dare say this is the best poppy field in all of Provence.
And just one pink poppy in the flock.