Both children are asleep, I am driving home after a weekend away staying with relatives. The sun comes out from behind the clouds, illuminating the Cévennes countryside, the rocks, the delicate green of new leaves in the vineyards, and tiny pink flowers bobbing in the wind.
A pang of sadness stabs and desorientates me. A week ago, Mr Nice drove across the Provence countryside, and together we watched cypresses point towards flimsy clouds shifting across a luminous sky.
What happened? And where do I go now?
Nearly three years ago, I moved to the French Alps to be with T. Our daughter was born, I struggled to adjust to my new life and help my family through the upheaval, before T left and everything crumbled. I found a different job, and carried on living, emaciated and hollow, but working hard to make sense of my life.
I have come a long way in every sense, especially in understanding what makes me think, react, see things the way I do. This journey through change and immeasurable pain has also become one of totally clichéd self-discovery. Now, like any self-respecting chick-lit reader, I feel this journey needs a happy end.
It feels as though I have been drifting through most of my life, taking things, people, and opportunities as they came along, never truly knowing what I wanted. And the time has come to find directions, decide where I want to live, what career I want to follow, and what I want my life to look like (well, apart from glamorous and accessorised with a devoted, tall, and handsome hunk).
I grip the steering wheel harder, and concentrate on the road ahead.
To Pierre, Cathou, and Philou who have a way of listening.
Franz Schubert – Serenata D957