Neatly stacked rows of purple semicircles fill the horizon. The air is saturated with the minty floral fragrance of lavender. We walk hand in hand down the road gazing out at the beautiful lavender fields surrounding us as we take in the experience from all of our senses. The breeze lightly touches our skin and the glass of wine I had at dinner lingers on my tongue. The light breeze rustles the bushes and graciously carries the calming fragrance to us. The sun starts to set as my new husband and I stroll across the beautiful Provence landscape on our honeymoon.
Earlier that day we had ventured through a small Provence town with lavender products at every turn. Dry, fresh, in oil and in soap of every style imaginable, hand crafted with love and care. The merchants displayed their products in the windows of ancient looking stone buildings. The bounty from the fields spilled out onto the sidewalk in front of the stores, enticing onlookers to explore inside. The grey stone, stacked one upon the other, looked like tiny castles nestled together. The pretty blue doors, grey walls, cobblestone streets and lavender colored products and flowers create this soft tone of color that pervades in this picture perfect setting. Lavender as a fragrance has always had a calming effect, but even the perfectly combined colors of this town are calming. My love of lavender, for almost all of my life, made this a must see location on our honeymoon road trip through Europe. Before we ventured out to see the fields we stopped at a little café for a glass of French wine, dinner and some creme brulee. This quaint town with a proud history of producing lavender delighted all of the senses.
Lavender is steeped in ancient uses, literally. It was steeped in water for bathing and also for washing clothing during roman times. It as been used as an oil, and in soaps for millennia. As part of the mint family, the dark herbal scented leaves perfectly compliments the floral fragrance that comes from the small purple flowers that give lavender not only a distinct scent but is also responsible for the variety of purple known as lavender. Interestingly, there are many types of lavender and they come in various shades of purple, something that one might only learn when seeing the expansive fields growing this delightful flower. This ancient tradition of using lavender, and its modern day interpretation, have sustained this beautiful little town and the surrounding fields that we had the delight of strolling through on this late summer evening.
As we continue to walk along the fields enjoying the sunset on this beautiful day we can see another couple up ahead that had the great idea of bringing chairs and wine to share while the sun set in the background. The next time we visit we might think to do the same but I know that I will always be able to return to this perfect day simply by indulging in the fragrance of lavender.