« Come with me to Ste Maxime » Patricia said, « I want to show you something. »
She is a good friend, someone I have grown to appreciate in the last few months as I became the main caregiver for my rapidly fading father.
So, shortly after one, we took off for Ste Maxime, a resort town across the bay from St Tropez. My mother’s final battle with Alzheimer’s was fought and lost there and I had not gone back, not even for a drive through in twelve years.
It was the first truly warm day of spring, so as soon as we arrived, we found a spot in the sun and had lunch. Afterwards we meandered through the old streets, browsed little shops and boutiques,then the marina, all the while laughing like carefree schoolgirls. Perhaps we were slightly tipsy from the rosé and the sunshine…why doesn’t matter, we had fun. I laughed so much my cheeks ached.
The afternoon was drawing to a close; I thought we had seen what she wanted me to see, but I was wrong.
We drove out of the centre ville up a hill, down a dead end, when she told me to stop at # 18.
She took these out of her purse
Which opened this door
Once through the door, we moved towards these
And when I stepped onto the terrace I saw this.
I was grinning from ear to ear, and doing a happy dance just looking at the Med spread out before me in splendid royal blue.
“ It is yours for the week end if you want and any time you need some peace until the owners come for the season*”, she said.
My heart nearly burst.
Today I am sitting where I could never afford to be, looking at the Med’s splendor from a vantage point I could not have dreamed, in total freedom and peace, enjoying a universe seemingly parallel to mine.
In a state of total and overwhelming gratitude for the generosity of friends and the bounty of life, I am wading, perhaps even floating merrily in the flow of serendipitous but benevolent happenings.
Once more, I find myself in an unlikely conjunction of time and space, feeling favored, my senses filled, surrounded by a beauty so deep, so extravagant and sensual, I can only absorb it in terms of love.
Filled with happy butterflies, again open to wonder, fables, magic and the implausible I let go as I leave the orchard where I sat and rested a while.
* The owners of the house are aware of this arrangement.