A daydream called Provence
"Par les prés, par les bois, par les routes et par les champs,
Moi je m'en vais écoutant la chanson du vent.
Il me dit des histoires de pays merveilleux,
où le soleil fleurit dans un ciel toujours bleu.
Il me dit des villes blanches qui s'étendent au soleil
le jour, et la nuit qui rêvent des étoiles plein leur ciel..."
I learned the song decades ago in elementary school and it stuck. Well, part of it did. I often sing it when I am vagabonding happily somewhere in the world, filling the memory holes with hums or words, like I did for the last line above. I wish I knew who wrote it or the rest of its lyrics. I searched, but it does not live online. Soeur Francois, our music teacher then, is long gone. She may have remembered. Poor sweet Soeur Francois, often made fun of for her masculin name and always underappreciated-the cruelty of childhood.
I remembered the song during my trip to Provence a few years ago and sang it over and over, feeling like a little kid again. Provence... I am usually able to describe my feelings, but somehow, not this time. Even my best writing attempt will not give it justice, and I know my photos and paintings won't either. Some things are best left to the masters. No surprise many such masters found themselves in Provence to be in harmony with nature. There, as Paul Cezanne once said, they "... could be busy for months without changing ... place, simply leaning a little more to right or left." Was it innate genius they were endowed with or was it hypnosis by a powerful master, the enchanting nature of Provence? I say, having been fortunate to visit, we undoubtedly cannot underestimate the power of the place. Speaking of masters, I will make it a mission to find, with a promise to share, a passage that masterfully describes the serenity and simple charm of this heavenly place and the peaceful enchanted feeling that envelops one there, in the daydream called Provence.