So Sunday arrived and I actually got to get on the bus to Giverny and Monet’s Garden and House. Oh WOW it was certainly worth the wait. What a blessed gift, and not just how you’d think.
Along with several hundred close friends (physically at least) we arrived in Monet’s water garden. Hmmm, I struggled. I am a woman not gifted with patience, and what I have I’ve earned painfully. I count it credit to those lessons that I did not punch anyone. Nor did I push anyone into the water. It does not count that I wanted to.
I also felt odd for the water. So constrained. So controlled and limited, directed between walls of bamboo. I was unquiet.
Of course it was beautiful, and atmospheric under the clouds. Did I mention that I love French clouds? I just felt so unlike how I feel when I’m immersed in Monet’s paintings.
Still feeling odd I determinedly pushed my way around every step of path! Stubborn? Moi? I was that nutter woman. I talked to the flowers. I wanted them to know that I saw them as equal subjects, that I was not reducing them to flat objects of entertainment, an attitude which I angrily attributed to others. Commodities placed to be consumed I wanted to restore them their living-ness. Their independence of the possessing gaze.
So, I smiled at the water lilies and breathed deeply of the air their leaves purified. I let myself feel them looking at me.
You’ll see I photographed a lot of flowers around the edges as I paused and we shared our gaze.
Wasn’t sure if I was going mad or if the world is just totally selfish. I mean it’s amazing, beautiful and we were all tourists. I was consuming an event too. But do you think I didn’t want to scream as we queued to exit the water garden through a cement underpass into the Flower Garden? I’m glad that Spanish woman saw a friend she didn’t know was in France, but did they have to embrace on the stairs, one going up, one down, no one going anywhere? But I rant and I was trying to be good.
I nearly cried with relief as we emerged. All the regimented edges and borders of the Water Garden couldn’t survive the Flower Garden. In late summer blown beauty, the bounty of flowers and riotous growth couldn’t be constrained. Wouldn’t be constrained.
Plants overflowed their boundaries. Horizontally onto paths. Vertically reaching for the life giving sun goddess of the skies. Nature burst from man’s constraints, refusing restraint in a riot of life. I breathed. And the bees seemed more important than the assembled hoards.
I celebrated. Now I was happy. I talked to the bees as well as the flowers.
Have you noticed that I like apricot flowers a lot?
I was grinning like the village idiot!
Kept talking to the bees. Looks like I even started thinking I was a bee.
So happy, and still looking up. I mean look at those clouds!
And then I reached the House, it’s so lovely. And still the riot of nature growing over the order people tried to impose. So much life, you could taste it in your skin.
Of course inside was properly house-like. Mostly.
So much light! The garden is almost inside. Shiny
And so apart from a little retail therapy that was my wonderful, wonderful celebration of life. I felt enveloped. Alive in my pores. Gotta be happy with that.
Oh and one last blessing on the way back to the bus: once the water leaves the formal garden nature is allowed to flow her blood in her own way. Madam was very happy.
Thank you Miss B