Browsing "Lacoste"
Apr 4, 2010 - Lacoste    No Comments


I have officially been living in France for just over a week now – I believe today is day 10. Honestly, I cannot believe it has only been that long. I feel like I have always been here and yet I cannot stop looking out the window! This is what I wake up to every morning:

Insanely beautiful. I keep tumbling through my thoughts, trying to find the right words to convey what it is like to walk around with this airplane view while my feet are firmly on the cobblestone. Waking up to glorious orange light pouring through our curtain, drawing back the lace, and being able to just sit in awe. No screen, no glass, no trees to block my view. Just pure engagement between my vision, the light dancing around the landscape, my lungs, and the cool morning air. I have always longed for this. The simplicity of open windows. The majesty of this perspective – way up high on this perch. Lacoste is an ancient village on a hill, so we are situated high up on the landscape. You can see the nearest town, Bonnieux (“Bon-You”), across the valley.

When I first got here, all I wanted to do was go into “the view,” to explore it. To walk those tiny roads I could see from my Murrier bedroom. (Our house is named Murrier for the Mulberry tree outside.) On my birthday (first full day in Lacoste), I went adventuring and climbed down the hill as far as I could… but was disappointed to find a twelve foot drop. During my first week of classes, I’ve seen the valley hidden in thick white morning clouds. I’ve seen the fields glazed in golden afternoon light. Around midday, blue shadows dip through the distant mountains. The view is constantly changing. Tiny cars pass on twig-thin white roads. Small cedar trees line the intersections. I wanted to engage with this captivating landscape, walk its roads, meet its people.

It wasn’t until Thursday of this week that a group of my friends and I made the trek across the valley up to Bonnieux for the first time. What a change in perspective! Walking IN the view, in the landscape that had previously fit inside my window in the morning, neat and compact inside my eyeballs… now unfurled in all directions. We traveled across vineyards, past orchards (cherry, I believe), fields of lavender, yellow dandelions carpeting the grass – all with the layers of distant mountains still surrounding in their riveting blue.

The whole way there my friends sang their hearts out. Everything from Beauty and the Beast to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (all childhood movies of course). I joined in in on “Truly Scrumptious” and “Toot Sweets” – CCBB is one of the movies I know best for the lyrics. I will introduce you to my new friends in an upcoming blog. It’s a good thing we kept ourselves slightly occupied – especially as we neared the town, because it got rough! We’ve made a joke here in Lacoste that we walk uphill both ways going to class – and it’s actually true here! No matter where you go, what town you visit – it’s hilly.

And you will climb a huge hill, panting for air, each way. Every time. I was just a little surprised by the intensity of the climb (the ascent, really – not Jesus, but in regards to mountains). Took us about an hour and a half each way, and I believe it is about a 3 mile walk each direction. Unfortunately we had to race back for dinner, so we didn’t explore much of the city. We’ll be back soon enough.

The return journey held a nasty surprise. The hill going back into Lacoste was brutal for already tired legs and overworked lungs. (Plus I was sick at the time!) But we made it.


And the view was so incredibly worth it. We even crossed through one person’s muddy backyard (we saw French children!) to get there. I can’t wait to go back. The cherry orchards will be stunning when they bloom – there are orchards everywhere. I read that Provence is known for its candied fruit – particularly cherries. I look forward to maybe spreading a blanket near the road, laying in the sunshine, and eating some cherries. I cannot adequately articulate what it felt like to adventure through the valley. Twas the ultimate adventure.

I look forward to getting to know the community better… the people, their world, their language. I may never be able to communicate at the level I want to or engage in meaningful conversation beyond polite business/how-are-you exchange… but I can observe. I have walked through backroads and I’ve seen multi-colored toys strewn across yards, dogs barking in driveways – heck I’ve even seen a PT Cruiser. That was strange. Even seeing their laundry in the breeze and the kisses planted on the cheeks of children… I can know something about them. I look forward to the day when we can communicate with words.

P.S. In the coming week, you can definitely look forward to more photos. I am actually required to keep up with my blog (at least one post per week) for my photo class. But beyond that – this is only half the photos I have ready to share with you guys. I have adventures from three other towns to share! So be patient with me, but do check in! I’d love to hear from you. I apologize for any communication issues and for my slow start to blogging – Internet is not easy to get out here. And I have to haul my laptop up the hill both ways to get a signal. More to come! Bonne journée!