Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sun day

Today was Sunday. I woke up at nine o’clock. The sun was in full flower. The room was golden, the sky deep blue. Out the glass doors through the garden and onto the steeple of the church it was still. It formed a picture you might see in a slick travel brochure on the South of France. It was the type of day that makes you feel lucky.

I stayed in bed a while finishing the short story I left when my woman slid into bed last night. She was all fresh and French smelling last night. This morning she was pressed up against me sleeping. All the kids too, were still asleep upstairs. The sun, the colors, the free day stretching out before me, us. Mmm, some days you wake seeing dreams.

One by one everyone wakes, comes down. I step out to the boulanger and get some sunday breakfast goods. At eleven o’clock we are all seven in the kitchen, and each attacks their sunny sunday feeling large and spacious idea of the perfect breakfast. The table is spread out with croissants, pain chocolat, and baguettes. Tea, coffee, hot chocolate, milk, butter, marmalade and nutella. There are mandarins and oranges, bananas, grapefruit and lemons. Knives, spoons, bowls, plates and cups in various states of use. So we all lounge in the kitchen, doors and windows thrown open to let the sun have it’s full play. It’s a moment of excess that isn’t too much. We all wordlessly agree, it’s a good day.

But the sun is calling. It will be gone at five o’clock. You’ve got to get it when and where you can, and the close quarters of the villages aren’t where it’s at. I can’t help but think that it is a great day to be in the vines. They are laid out with maximum exposure to the sun in mind, which is just what I have in mind too. If you get a day like today in the vines you finish in a t-shirt and come home with a bit of color. It does well for the internal and external myth of good living in the south of France.

But unless you are a vigneron, the vines are attractive only in the ideal. They are still hard stooping work and that is never the best option for a sunday afternoon. So I call my friend with a sunny garden and offer to come over and taille his trees. It’s really the ideal compromise, he has just a few and I get to strap on my electric pruner. It’s the perfect mix of 100 percent sun with 10 percent work and 90 leisure. I take my son with me. We work easy. We drink a couple of glasses, sit at the garden table in the sun and chat until the sun starts going down. Some days, being a fake farmer in the South of France is best way to be a real artist.


  1. Ooh la la. I love, love, love it. Have you ever read Leo Lionni's picture book, Frederick? It is divinely this same feeling. Captured by a mouse. Gathering warmth and color when he can and bringing it to the dark winter to share with the cold, grey mice in the stone wall.

  2. Its the kind of wonderful day when even going to work can be enjoyable and make you glad you are where you are. Other days not so much....