All of us who love travel have bucket lists. And at the top of mine was an area I had seen only in books — and adored: the Luberon area of France in late June when lavender is in full bloom!
Even from my window seat on the tour bus, I pressed my nose and my camera to the glass to capture tidy fields of neatly planted lavender radiating out and forming movable spokes — well, almost — as we passed by.
But both of us were stunned when we stopped at Senanque Abbey near the village of Gordes to wander beside the fields and inside and around the abbey. Founded in 1148 by Cistercian monks, the abbey provided housing for monks and a place for writing and quiet worship. Today, the abbey, a fine example of Romanesque architecture and a stately anchor for the region, is much photographed and loved by visitors year-round.
It wasn’t just the vivid purple color of the blossoms that made us fall in love with lavender. It was also the scent — fresh, not too sweet, but pleasant and inviting.
A tour of Musee de la Lavande acquainted us on the art of planting, harvesting, drying, and processing this much sought-after plant known for its medicinal qualities as well as its fragrance and beauty.
Of course, there was no resisting the purchase of lavender for friends.
And so it was that a dream was realized. I asked Bert to take this touristy shot of me wearing my Provencal t-shirt in one of the fields. And as silly as the picture is, I can still remember that joyous day in the Luberon.
And I can still smell that smell.
Rusha and Bert Sams
This post is one of a series of one-word prompts for April 2020 called Discover Prompts by WordPress. Enjoy!