One Thursday morning in May there was no rain. There was no cold. No miserable birch trees trying to hatch their first tender leaves against the chilling wet wind from the sea. No, this Thursday morning there was a touchdown – and light, radiance, luminosity of the sun!
A stroll down the Croisette, a glass of Provence rosé and dipping my toes in the sand – and life was slowly returning to a wrung-out body and mind. And later, as I sat perched on the wall of the Castre, I thought of the Provence light and how it has inspired painters through times. Van Gogh painted his famous cypress still life works while simply staring out of the window of a mental asylum. How wonderfully strong inspiration the scenery and light must have been to drive him to paint masterworks instead of dwell in dull misery.
Life is about choices, indeed. It is about choosing to melt away in sadness, or painting brilliant wheat fields and cypresses that are adored for generations. It is about choosing to spend a Thursday holed up in one’s office – or soaking in the Riviera sunlight. But life is also about receiving exactly how much one gives. Sometimes we give it all and nothing is enough – and we are left with a huge hole in the side where a chunk was carved away. This is life, too. It hurts.
Yet, some other times, we give it all and in the end there is a reward if we choose to take it. I chose to be worth a long weekend in Cannes in May. Every penny and every ray of sunlight.
(Cannes, France; May 2015)