11 July 2011

la lavande

There are certain images we all know, pictures that are lodged in our communal memory from seeing them so many times on posters or postcards or on TV.

The Taj Mahal with a clear blue sky behind it.

The Eiffel Tower at night.

Tulips in Holland.

The lavender fields in Provence.

Do you know what I'm talking about? You see these pictures everywhere, and you start to think: can it really be that beautiful? Can it really be that color? Can it really be that big?

And sometimes, you're lucky enough to see one of these things in real life. Rising in front of you is a picture that's become so familiar—but it's not on a postcard anymore.

You know a picture is worth a thousand words, but all you can come up with as you stand in front of this iconic beauty is: Wow. Oh, wow.

I saw the lavender fields in Provence two days ago. For the last month, my computer wallpaper at work has been a picture of the Abbaye de Senanque with the lavender stretching in front of it.

Every time I closed an email or an article I was writing, I saw the purple fields and I could almost smell the lavender. {Perhaps that's useful at work, seeing as lavender is supposed to de-stress and relax you.}

But there I was, standing in the field myself.

I had become part of the picture.

I did a cartwheel in front of the abbaye—I have this habit of taking pictures of me doing cartwheels in the prettiest places—but with my skirt on that day, you could see a little more than I intended.

Amie, my friend I was travelling with, was taking the picture. "Um, you can see your underwear in this. Should I just erase it?"

Um, yes, please.

I don't want my picture of the lavender fields—my shot at this image that has become a symbol of beauty—to involve I see London, I see France, I see Kamiah's underpants.

And so I took one with just the lavender, just the fields of rows and rows of lavender, all lined up and headed towards the abbaye.

There is a time for everything, including a time for taking a cartwheel picture and a time for wearing a skirt. However, there's rarely a time for taking a cartwheel picture in a skirt.

Just a note for you, should you ever decide to travel to the lavender fields of Provence: get ready to be speechless, and, if you're prone to cartwheels, wear pants.

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