You could smell it long before you could see it.
Amanda and I were in a van with six other wanderlust filled people on our way to the lavender fields in Southern France. We had been to the South of France before, so we knew that the weather was going to be un-apologetically sunny with approximately zero clouds. It did not disappoint.
As we weaved about mountains, rivers, and endless roundabouts, I was awestruck by the beauty and serenity of it all. This country has stolen my heart and absolutely captured my affection. Even with the windows up, we could smell that we were getting close. The sweet but slightly tart smell of lavender permeated the vehicle; our fellow passengers responding with resonant “mmmm”s. Then we saw it. We sped past the first patch, viewing row upon row of meticulously placed purple flowers, interrupted only by the occasional sea of sunflowers.
When we finally reached our destination and climbed out of the vehicle our senses were assaulted as everything became magnified—the sun scorching directly down on us, light forcing us to squint, the smell of lavender so strong you could almost taste it, and the added sounds of insects buzzing gently from their peaceful hideouts.
The sun shining down on us made us feel alive and energized; and admittedly a little warm. After our senses adjusted and we were able to take stock of the rolling purple fields in front of us, we set out to capture the life and energy present in that place.
It was beautiful, potent and powerful. I can’t wait to return soon.
“The diffused magic of the hot, sweet south had withdrawn into them – the soft-pawed night and the ghostly wash of the Mediterranean far below…a sea as mysteriously coloured as agates and cornelians of childhood, green as green milk blue as laundry water, wine dark.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald on the south of France in Tender is the Night