The weather in France this summer has not been as I imagined weather in France would be. We had more sunshine in the Western Isles off the coast of Scotland than we had in southern France. But from time to time, the sun broke through. This is just such a moment – about 15 minutes, when we could soak up the sun and we knew it was summer.
A moment of sunshine
I am sitting in the sun on towels on a wet bench. Braver companions are swimming. I am just catching the sun. Warmth is relative, I realise. It’s what you are used to. For me this is a pleasant sunny interlude in a day of dark storm clouds and heavy downpours; for others it is a sign of summer, to be grasped and used for summer activities – like swimming.
Each breath I take is redolent with the pungent smell of weeds being pulled and the air is full of the chaffinch’s song as he enjoys this moment of sun. Gentle conversation between the sisters at the pool drifts across the lawn.
The fig tree is bright green with the promise of its harvest of ripe, luscious fruit later in the year, and it stands out in sharp contrast to the dark looking clouds drifting our way above it.
I turn my face to the sun. In spite of the rain, this moment is warm and delicious with the air like velvet on my skin. The pool sparkles and the trees grow brighter, still sun-kissed as the sky continues to darken. Another minute or so and we will need to retreat to the shelter of the cottage.
And the sun goes behind the storm clouds and the day darkens. The pool empties of its occupants who grab towels and head up the lawn. The breeze, so friendly and pleasant a moment ago, becomes cool, and there is the roll of thunder in the far distance. Suddenly it is not warm anymore.
The first drop falls and dries on the warm bricks within seconds, quickly followed by another. The interlude in the sun draws to an end with a sudden rush for the doors. It was lovely – that moment in the sun. Now a memory, but one to be treasured. A bright moment in a French garden.
And the rain pours down in sheets …