There was one particular night, which if I’m lucky, will stay with me forever. I was reading in bed, and besides my bedside lamp the room was dark. I would always sleep with the shutters open because I liked waking up to the sun rising. But this one night, there’s a flickering in glass. I noticed it from the corner of my eye and dismissed it as a light from a car going along the road. Until it occurred to me we were halfway up a bloody mountain and that wasn’t really possible. So I sit and watch this little light flutter around and flicker and try and figure out what on Earth it is. I genuinely wondered if I was having some sort of brain trouble. Anyway, I decided I hoped it wasn’t that and got up to investigate. I went outside and it was a gorgeously warm, clear night and there’s a few dozen of the tiny flickering lights slowly swarming about. I very nearly lost my damn mind – Fireflies!
You see, I had only heard of fireflies from snippets of American TV, frankly I don’t think I ever considered if they were real or not. Until this one evening outside my bedroom door when the night it was lit up by these tiny, flying stars. I couldn’t have been more surprised if there was a freaking unicorn munching away on the fruit trees. I guess it’s similar to when people get surprised by how desensitised we are in Australia to coming across deadly spiders – but far, far prettier. It was like discovering fairies were not only real, they glowed in the dark and lived in the garden. I was an incredible feeling of pure, childlike delight.
And honestly, so much of France was like that. Another thing I fell in love with there was the abundance of wildflowers. There were dandelions as big as your fist, bumblebees that looked fluffy enough to pat, and colour everywhere. I tried to capture it on my camera, but didn’t do it justice. And frankly, I just really love flowers.