The beautifully slow pace of Provence

“In the morning we work slowly, in the afternoon not so hard.”

This was supposedly how a man from the North described how people work in Provence.

Time did seem to move slowly in Provence, but I was grateful for that and had no trouble falling into the pace. There were moments I even felt as though I was in a time warp. No one was ever in a hurry. Villagers congregated at the Boulangerie and took the time to say good morning to one another. Sometimes even holding my baby while I got my cappuccino and pain au chocolat. Dinner parties, even the simplest, were served in courses, and were more about the company than the food. And they lasted hours.

What I learned from the Provençals was the delicate art of balancing of time. Knowing when to work and when to relax. When to take the time for people. To take the time to enjoy a walk, the sunset. Good food and wine. The company of those we love.

Now that I’m back in the states I try to hold onto that feeling, and incorporate it into the way I raise my daughter. When I find myself being protective of my time, I smile and know that the villagers of Saignon would be proud.

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