Here it is, the last full weekend of my stint in Provence. The time always whips by and it’s hard to believe I’ve been here just over two months already. This stretch is often punctuated with a wide range of emotions, and this year has been no different.
We've been so lucky to have had one of the best Septembers I can remember. With 12 days of over 30 degrees and the rest in the very high twenties, no rain and endless sunshine, it’s been brilliant. As a result, I’ve been on my bike as much as humanly possible. Last weekend I was lucky enough to spend a day with friends cycling in the Drôme. The weather was hot and sunny and the views and route lovely. Afterward, we sat on a charming village terrace in the sunshine drinking pressions, then carried on to cooking dinner for even more friends. It was one of the best days I’ve had, as schedules rarely work out to allow us a full day together. On days like this, leaving feels like a heart-wrenching exercise, one I wish I didn’t have to do.
October entered with a severe Mistral, and temperatures dropped for a few days. They swung back up for a few more glorious days but now, the rain is arriving. This is when things feel a bit different here. When the sun is shining, the magic of this place is hard to ignore. When it’s cool and cloudy, you see the reality of it. This season is always very quiet and slow. It’s actually beautiful in its own way, and you really get a sense the true nature of Provence is revealing itself to you. There is something enchanting about it, but also a bit sad. The days are so much shorter and cooler, the towns are emptied of tourists, the roads are so quiet you might not see another soul. This leaves me with mixed feelings; it’s calm and peaceful, but I also feel melancholy. I miss having Jason here to share in the beauty of this place, and I miss the long days. I suppose the melancholy is not only for the change in the season but for knowing my stay in Provence is ending.
One thing I know for certain, having only a short time here helps me appreciate it so much more. I feel eternally grateful for being able to make this work. As I was reminded, I never know when I might not be able to come back. That would be an unbearable thing, so I truly hope it doesn’t happen anytime in the near future.