Tuesday 29 October 2013

la balaguère

The wind turned last week. The sound of banging shutters has woken me early almost every day since. Yesterday, we were back in t-shirts, sweltering in unseasonal heat. The digital thermometre outside the pharmacie read 25°. Summer seems to have ridden back into the Valley on the the tail of the southern wind, la balaguère, riding in at full speed.

Halfway to Spain, via the col des Mulets

Some Valley dwellers will swear that the balaguère drives people to madness. Others will say that the warm wind sweeps a feeling of restlessness through the Valley.

But for me, the balaguère is always a source of comfort. In the heart of winter, it takes the chill off even the most bitter of days. When I’m feeling blue, downtrodden by the season, this warm wind fills these sails of mine with hope and expectation. It blows from the plains of the Sahara, sometimes bringing sand to turn the snowy mountain sides pink.

And sometimes when the balaguère blows that dust-laden wind stirs up a wanderlust deep inside of me. In this golden atmosphere, strange, unreal, windswept moment, the southern wind seems to be beckoning me elsewhere…

Over the weekend, we took the wind up on her offer.

More about that adventure later...


  1. Really beautiful words. It's nice to find more people who find calm in nature and adore every aspect of it just as much as I.

  2. Yes, there's certainly nothing quite like being out in nature to take you to a whole other mental place...