⪧ We left our life in New York City to make a new one in Provence ⪦

November 16, 2017

Île des Embiez

I like pulling out a big paper map of Provence and the Côte d'Azur, tracing the coast to find any inlet or island I've not considered. We set out for Île des Embiez recently as a result. Almost at our fingertips. I pinch myself every time we do one of these day trips; this region is so densely packed with haven after haven. The more time we spend, the more I also appreciate that ability to go to each off-season. (I wouldn't go near this island in July or August).

We drove to Six-Fours-les-Plages and found the ferry boat that crosses to the island every hour. We hiked around the very small island (part of the Paul Ricard islands; he is buried here) and found a steep path down to a splendid looking beach - right up against a cliff wall. We sat on the rocks and had a picnic, considering the clear, turquoise water below. Then, despite it being the end of October, we all spent time splashing in it.

Marguerite, Colette and Romy climbed up the rock face and the little girls begged Marguerite to help navigate their steps down. I dislike saying no and 'be careful,' preferring to let them do things that seem precarious to them. Even to fall a bit. Sometimes we bridle Romy because she is totally undaunted by fear. Colette is naturally very cautious, thinking of all the potential effects of any action. Marguerite naturally falls in middle and guides both.

We all went down to the water and climbed on the rocks. I love how naturally industrious kids are. Marguerite and Colette had soon found purpose - gathering rocks of a specific size out on a rock island in the water. Back and forth with energy, rippling the jewel colored water with their tummies.

I had a short swim and then made my way along the sharp coast of rocks to explore. I came upon this swimming hole. It was something out of a dream. My feet for scale.

I would say we will be back, but there are so many places along the shore I want to explore!


I like catching them in their moments of reflection and abandon. Little niches of the house, inside and out.

Or just their traces...

November 8, 2017

Wild things

Every chance I get I take the girls out. We find ourselves alone in wild places; they are all around here. We remark on the bumpy lumps of the field of wheat that has just been churned up by a farmer. We watch fall stain the leaves of the vineyards red and orange and amber. We stand outside in the mistral wind and let it swell in and out of our ears; we yell to hear each other. The wind charges into our bodies. We squint to see.

I watch them run together in an alley of sycamore trees - the symbol of the south of France.

And all under a Provence sky.

October 30, 2017

Iles du Frioul

Babes in the sea. The sun has real staying power through October in Provence. We are lapping it up like dogs. We go to hard-to-get-to swimming holes and have a proper bath celebrating school break. I like swimming in anything real, despite its temperature. Want my girls to grow to do the same.

This was a ferry ride from the Vieux Port of Marseille, the Frioul Archipelago. Wild islands - bare lunar rock, turquoise water.

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