This past Friday was a particularly special day: it was a full harvest moon, falling on Friday the 13th. This is so rare, the last time it happened in the Northern Hemisphere was in 1935, and the next won’t be until 2171. It also happened to be +34˚, with no wind, endless blue skies, and it was also the last full day Jason would be in Provence. It felt auspicious and a bit sad at the same time.
These last weeks have been an insane whirlwind. Never has there been so much socializing in all my time in Provence, and for this introvert, it was pretty unusual. It was filled with group bike rides, bike maintenance assistance, meeting new people to cycle and dine with, old friends coming to visit, large dinner parties, official work projects, travel to the sea and fabulous weather. Our friends even took us out a couple of times to rock climb, which was utterly delightful and provided a whole new perspective on the region and its endless gifts. For Jason, this was one of his most favourite trips. He enjoys sharing experiences with others, and we had a great deal of that.
But every year, these weeks pass by far too quickly. At first, it seems like time is endless and we’ll be able to fit so much in. Throw in several days of 7-hour bikes rides (for Jason, not me!) and the days disappear quite rapidly. And before you know it, we’re saying things like, “We never got to do this ride, or see this exhibition, or get to this part of Provence” and on and on. Everyone here has diligently been trying to convince Jay he should stay longer, postpone his return, or simply plan on a minimum of three months next year. They know I would like to stay here more permanently and are actively cheerleading this idea. That’s just what good friends do.
As an introvert, I don’t just like my alone time, I need it. But for some reason, while I still feel a bit discombobulated with all the activity, it didn’t seem to drain me like it normally can. So I’ve been trying to figure out what the difference is. No conclusions yet, except that I know being here with Jason is so much more fun than being here alone. He loves it and sharing that delight with someone who truly feels the same way makes a place, an experience thousand times more extraordinary. I can’t say I won’t enjoy the second half of my sojourn. I am over the moon that I get to spend another summery month here. But I do hope some of the endless friendly suggestions take root so that we do end up spending more of our life here in the future. There is quite a bit of time before the next Friday the 13th harvest full moon, and I can’t think of a better place to hang out while waiting for it.