Fleurs de la Montagne

flowers 01There is something truly magical about France. I don’t know whether it was the language or the family or the buildings or the food, but whatever it was it left an indelible imprint on me.

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.

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