Elizabeth “Eenie” Bernard ’18
Majors: English-Creative Writing; French Studies
Wellesley-in-Aix in Aix-en-Provence, France
April in Aix is implausibly divine. The sky (each day!) is a cloudless and fading blue; if you look straight up, it’s a deeply bright cerulean, and as you trace the sky down towards the horizon, it gets increasingly softer and lighter. There is green everywhere, sprouting up between the smooth stones of the squares and webbing across the houses. Here, spring waits just below the surface for weeks before exploding out overnight, the air suddenly rich with lilac and sunshine. The wisteria vines are pregnant with color, swollen in purple and green and spilling over the walls. Le Mistral is still here, but in the spring incarnation; it whispers in between the trees and whips across the grass, a cooling lick of air that lets you breathe in between the baking sun.
I find myself chasing after time that eludes me. It feels like just yesterday I was drinking hot tea throughout the day just to stay warm, the wind cutting through my canvas jacket like a knife. Now, I have but a month left in this Provençal town, a month left of wandering through quiet cobbled streets lined with faded yellow houses with blue shutters. Soon, the lilacs will burn up under the sun into crisped brown vestiges of themselves. The wisteria are already starting to sag beneath the heat, hanging tiredly against the rock walls and leaking petals onto the sidewalk below. More people than ever throng the Cours Mirabeau, armed with ice cream and cigarettes, wandering beneath the strength of the sun and the expanding arch of green above from the trees beginning to fill out. Spring is almost over here, the summer already starting to push through, though it’s just beginning to come into being back home. The snow is melting in Maine, and Central Park is awash in white and pink.
The sun sets around 8:15 here, which means dinners with Mary and Christian start off in a low yellow light, fading to pink and then a dusky blue grey that hangs in the air until nightfall. I love the long evenings here, the luminosity of the mornings. Each day the sun is strong, slipping in between my shutters and bouncing off the mirror. Each day is a gift.