Here’s what I kept thinking about as I was strolling through the vast and beautiful gardens at Versailles: imagine being Louis XIV, standing on the stone steps leading down to them from the Palace, surveying the land and thinking “this is mine”. Not that you can ever really own nature, of course. The trees, the water, the sky, the air — the raw materials that form the essence of these gardens cannot be bought or sold.
I dunno, you guys. The palace, with all its finery and priceless works of art, was pretty impressive. But the gardens were richer in the kind of beauty that nourishes the soul and makes you want to live forever. That is true inspiration. In the end, is there any treasure created from gold or silver that could possibly be worth more than that?
You didn’t think I was done talking about France yet, did you?
Please. That would obviously be complètement folle.
On our last day in Paris, Duck and I visited L’Orangerie to see Monet’s famous water lillies. We generally eschew the renting of audio guides, but we decided a little background info would in this case serve to enhance our viewing experience. Which turned out to be a good call, because here’s what the narrator had to say about these great works:
“They are now displayed as Monet originally imagined them, with their timeless message — that of an immense artist in the twilight of his life, relentlessly striving to express the inexpressible”.
If you ask us, we think he did a pretty bang up job.
Because everything is better with wine, n’est-ce-pas?
You guys! Look at the rose now!
I feel like a proud parent.
And yeah, it changed colours again. Magic, I tell you.
There’s a rosebush in my backyard, and it makes me REALLY happy. You guys, I just love this rosebush so freaking much. It’s like I’m obsessed with it, but in a good way. Just thinking about it makes me feel lighter in spirit and puts a smile on my face.
Here’s the crazy thing. Last year, the roses bloomed this colour:
And this year?
Totally different colour!
Maybe that’s normal, and seasoned horticulturalists would scoff at me for my ignorance.
But I think it’s magic.
Oh, man. I really do have some of the nicest co-workers ever.
When I got to work this morning, the girl who sits beside me had placed this on my desk:
It’s a peony from her garden! Isn’t it pretty?