We traveled all the way to Provence last year with the hope that we would see lavender in bloom. We saw fields of poppies and lavender with ever so tiny purple tips. I could only imagine how beautiful the fields would be in about two or three more weeks.
A private backyard outside of Seattle.
A Sequim, Washington garden created by two California transplants.
I had no idea that lavender blooms in Washington and Oregon every spring. It’s a long drive or a short plane ride from California to see these wonderful sights. The people are friendly and most everyone you bump into is there to see the lavender too. Being a transplant from Santa Cruz, I’ve got begonias growing in my backyard. I was surprised that they would grow in such a warm climate but they seem to thrive here. I think there will be lavender in that same backyard next spring. It will be like a little piece of Provence, Oregon, and Washington for me to enjoy almost all of next years summer season. Some times one of the best places you can be is in your own backyard. You can make it into, anything you like.
Why is it the daisies Seem so struck by the bugs? Is it in their color Or their look from above?
For me it’s the wonder In these flowers so white The attraction they have Though it often seems trite
I do love the daisies As they sway in the breeze With the free way they seem To do just as they please
Bonnie DiMichele 2017
Just a little whimsical thought as many men work on my new addition. It’s loud, dirty, and may be slow in progress. My beautiful backyard is an absolute mess but it will make my home so that we can live on one floor. This surely is a thought I never had as a younger person. I refuse to let those thoughts make me feel old…I’m simply being practical.
I recently went to France and stayed in Lyon as my last stop. It is a beautiful city and is the third largest city in France. I did not realize that walking about the city might lead me into neighborhoods that were not friendly to people who were not of their same religious beliefs. (I do think there should be an app for that, by the way.)
Stunning City Art
I am a firm believer in not talking about religion, politics, or weight. With that being said, I was so filled with the evil feeling that I received, I decided to write a poem about my experience. (That’s how I attempt to settle things in my mind.) I’m going to share the opening and closing stanzas with you. There are eighteen stanzas in-between as the opening and the closing stanzas are mirror images of each other.
Swans on the Rhone River
I walked the streets Of grand Lyon In a place, I, Should not have gone,
The evil that I found that day Is not a thing To wash away
This sleeping world Needs to awake, To realize What is at stake
If you would like the other eighteen stanza’s you can make a request at email@example.com and I will be happy to supply the entire poem for you. I am putting this out today because, as much as I tried to resolve what I felt that day by writing this poem, those feelings are still very much with me. I just can’t seem to shake them. So the moral to this blog is perhaps, as we age, we should try to stay on the main streets (when in a foreign place) as we are traveling through life.
When we visited France, we were a little early for the blooming of the lavender. I was excited to see this lavender in Avignon, but not so excited that I wanted to skip and leap through it. I am glad that this lady was excited to see it too. She even had purple on. It was an amazing sight to see.
I found myself settling for lavender doors and shutters and lets not forget the gorgeous red poppies that were blooming all about us. This world does come in such beautiful Technicolor’s.
Behind Lavender Doors
One of my favorite and most colorful times was when we took the electric boat up and down the Gorges de Verdon. Those blues of the water are some of my favorite colors and the day was so peaceful. Well, it was peaceful until the boat stopped and we had to paddle back to shore.
Gorges de Verdon
All those pictures I take, every one of them tells its own story. That’s for sure! So now I’ll have Rod Stewart’s song running through my head for the rest of the day. I might have just planted that seed in you too. Hope your day comes in its own, very vivid, Technicolor.
I’ve missed a couple of weeks of posting and I’ve got a good reason why that happened. I’ve been in the south of France, staying in small villages and fully enjoying the sights. I had wanted to go to Provence, France to see the lavender in bloom but the timing was a bit off so I had to settle for the red poppies as they were still blooming about everywhere we went.
Just outside of St. Martin du Bromes.
Overlooking Lac du la Sainte-Croix.
France is filled with bug loving flowers.
I am happy to be home, but have had an incredible vacation with family and friends. It is a wonderful way to travel and a great way to get to know each other better while in a relaxed environment. These poppies were planted in remembrance of the lives that were lost to war. It seems like we are always at war some place in the world. Sad really. The poppies are beautiful but what they symbolize is war and it’s casualties. It makes you stop and think about the sacrifices people have made to keep us from harms way.
As we traveled about, it was hard to miss the metal doors with peep-holes, the stone buildings with metal shutters, and the lack of children playing in the streets. When I was a child we had many freedoms, so many that we didn’t realize how very wonderful freedom was. Today is different from then. There are often days when I miss those yesterdays.
With the recent large waves that have been crashing into the California Coast and Hawaii, I’ve been reflecting on the stillness that can also be found on the coast. One of my favorite places is Half Moon Bay during very low tide and sunset. There is a magical presence that I find there. It revives my soul and calms my spirit.
Copper Colored Bluffs at Fitzgerald Marine Reserve
I’ve also been thinking about the old saying, “home is where the heart is.” I always thought that saying was referring to a structure but I think I was wrong. Anywhere can be home as long as you find peace in that place. Even fond memories can be home if they lighten your spirit, like the childhood memory of warm sand moving in-between your toes. I find that I need to keep these pleasant thoughts close to me in this chaotic world that we find ourselves living in.
Tidepools at Sunset
I want to share one other sunset that wants to linger in my mind. It was beautiful and the company devine. The whole trip was such a wonderful time.
Waves are everywhere, pounding and changing the landscape but in my mind it will always look like this until I return again. It was almost a bronze color and then in an instant it returned to grayish white. This is one of the places my heart finds it’s home. I never want to let go of those lovely memories. I hope this stirs up some lovely memories that you want to hold on to also.
Lately I’ve been thinking about our trip to France a couple of years ago. We walked down the Normandy Beach on an eerily still Fall day. When you are there, you are consumed with thoughts of WWII and what those young men must have been thinking while being dropped off to perform an unimaginable task. What is most remarkable, is that it is so very peaceful there now.
While wandering around Paris, we happened upon a very large building with a glass roof, The Grand Palais. I was told that tourists seldom get to see inside of this building, but there we were with the giant side doors standing wide open, and I was allowed to take a couple of photos. It was immense and beautiful.
Around every corner was a gorgeous church and often the pipe organ would be playing. Music is the most amazing universal language. I wish that everyone around the world would be touched by the spirit of lovely music. I don’t think that all people seek peace in their lives. I am so sad about the events that occurred in Paris this past week.
One Peaceful Universal Language
With that being said, I think the world could use a little more things to celebrate and be light-hearted about. You can find this happy frog in the pond at the Schramsberg Caves near Calistoga. We went there with some friends a bit ago and had a remarkably memorable day.
More Bubbles Please
It’s on days like that, when I realize that my little life, in my little piece of California, is quite lovely. I hope that, wherever you are, your life is peaceful and lovely too.
That’s not a very original title, now is it, given this is the week of Thanksgiving. I’m going with it because I have so much to be thankful for. I gave the eulogy last Saturday at my mother’s celebration of life. I did not realize the weight that I was carrying around in anticipation of fulfilling my duties in this regard. I feel light as a feather, except for those odds and ends that I still must look after. Light as a feather, as if I could fly. So here is the photo that popped in my mind when I thought about having photos of feathers. It was a lovely day that we spent in Monet’s Gardens and I remember it well.
Bird in Monet’s Garden
The truth is, you don’t need to go to France to be filled with the wonder and the beauty that surrounds us everywhere. I took this shot last Sunday in the Napa Valley. It was an amazing day. It was different than Monet’s Garden but equally as lovely and well-tended.
The Covering of Fall in the Napa Valley
So I am hoping that everyone who reads this blog has the loveliest of Thanksgivings ever. We do have so much to be thankful for.