The kind I had not known in a long, long time.
I stayed at my family’s holiday home near Montpellier, on the Mediterranean edge of France.
Time slowed to a gentle pace, punctuated by mealtimes with the children, who inevitably bemoaned the unfairness of having to eat courgettes, or pumpkin soup…
Before vanishing again in a flock of my cousins’ children, to cook elaborate mud, gravel and mint-based delicacies for the five-year old, or to hotly dispute table tennis tournaments, and occasionally give me pre-teen attitude about the unfairness of having to go to bed before everyone else, or not owning a smartphone like everyone else for the 11-year-old.
Most afternoons involved sitting on the beach, chatting and baking in the sun, while children splashed about in the sea… A million miles away from the notion that back home in the Alps, Winter is on its way, and that I really need to find my next job in a pretty crappy job market.
Evenings saw assembled relatives -clutching mugs of the garden’s lemon verbena infusion, discuss grandchildren and weather forecasts.
I did not let the sum of my preoccupations go beyond menus for the next day, and how much resistance to vegetables I was prepared to put up with from my offspring. I let myself forget.
It’s been a kind of week when recent trauma recedes, and every breath yields peace.
This song has been my soundtrack:
Archive – Controlling crowds