A Year in Provence, by Peter Mayle, sent me to the atlas. This was a place I had never heard of. But as I was reading, I kept seeing Cary Grant and Debra Kerr visiting Grandmother in the movie An Affair to Remember.
A Year in Provence is the true chronicle of Peter Mayle and his wife,who moved from England to France in the1980s. They purchased a home and some land and began a journey to become Provencal. It turned out to be rather more interesting than they had anticipated.
Try to visualize goat races, bread shops and vineyards. Try to visualize living in a house-in-progress while the workers are in no rush. Try to visualize a glass of wine with every meal, to go along with a variety of fresh breads.
The Provencal people are clearly not American, harried by trivial pursuits of getting the job done, winning the rat race or kicking against prickly weather. Life in Provence is just that – life. Day to day life. What happens, happens. What doesn’t happen, doesn’t. I think there are some lessons we Americans can learn here.
What would happen if Americans modeled their lives after the Provencals? Cell phone sales would drop. Answering machine sales would soar. People would literally stop and smell the roses, appreciate fall foliage, and make time to play in the snow. (Yes, it snows in Provence!)
This was a truly fun read. As the Mayle’s learned to slow their pace during the year, I found myself relaxing as well. I stopped taking things so seriously, stopped rushing, and began knitting again. Now, if I could only knit in the South of France . . .