I know I’ve said this before, but September is a truly wonderful month in Provence. This year it started off very hot, and then the mistral blew and blew. I was a bit worried that September wouldn’t measure up this year, but alas, this last little bit has been truly glorious.
The sun has been shining, very little wind and temperatures around 28 degrees. It’s quite perfect actually. I’ve got a good deal of cycling in (including a few more jaunts up the Ventoux) and have been soaking up the last bit of the season’s gentle kiss of warmth. The days are shorter and the light lower, but there is something about the quality of light this time of year. It’s almost golden and is unspeakably beautiful. Dappled through the leaves of the plane trees, or setting against the flanks of Ventoux, I’ve never seen anything so stunning it literally catches my breath. The vines are turning red from the cool nights, and the smell of drying leaves and smoke are in the air.
Aside from all of this magic, September is when my social life here picks up. Many of my friends avoid the main tourist season and return in time for harvest. So I’ve been incredibly busy visiting wineries, cycling, lunching, dinner-ing, market-ing, coffee-ing with all kinds of wonderful friends. I feel so grateful to have created this strange little life for myself.
Sadly, this rapid-fire activity generally signals the end of my season in Provence. It’s a great way to end my visit and always reminds me why I keep coming back. Aside from all the natural beauty, amazing wine, food, cycling and friends, this place never ceases to surprise and delight me. Just this week on my way home from Sault I came across an errant donkey on the loose, his owners in hot pursuit on a major thoroughfare. Only here would you see a rogue donkey in the middle of the highway. Only in Provence… c’est normal.