There is no easy way for me to sit still, but somehow, after months sheltering, I am doing slightly more of that, daydreaming right back to fabulous memories, like this girl’s trip I took to France two years ago. Concocted and plotted during the winter months and executed during the heat wave called July, four of us converged to explore Paris, Aix-en-Provence, Cassis, Arles, Eze and Nice. We delighted in the architecture and art and space and sea and trains and food and drink and each other. I invite you to lazily daydream through my photo story, and as you do, imagine roaming with pure freedom once again.
There has been an outpouring of tremendous world-wide empathy showered on France since the terrorist attack on Paris. On this sentiment it seems all people agree. Beyond that, we fall into a chasm of differences. Over where we should place our attention. Over borders and refugees and immigration and political policy. Over ideology and religion. There are hundreds upon hundreds of blogs stirring up hate, defining us separate from them, each new headline fueling the fire of terror. But none of those charged issues are my concern in this post. I just want to reflect on a more humane reaction. A reaction that elicits compassion. “Empathy is a gateway to compassion. It’s understanding how someone feels, and trying to imagine how that might feel for you — it’s a mode of relating. Compassion takes it further. It’s feeling what that person is feeling, holding it, accepting it, and taking some kind of action” (Chandler).
I am not a strict locavore, I mean, I don’t mind the taste of Jamaica in my Rum or the Rhine in my Riesling, but increasingly I am drawn to praise the local distilleries and vineyards rising up around me, and for good reason. In fact, without leaving the small state of Vermont one can find plenty of unique elixirs to stock their liquor cupboard or wine cellar. I will feature only three in this post, but I am certain one might just as well highlight countless others, for as these family-owned ventures are springing up they are earning high marks in the process. I know my finds will encourage you to explore your own local area.