Who can resist the charm
of the plantain tree in the South of France?
I loved the idea of their legacy.
Everyone can plant a single tree
for future generations.
But do we?
Some can even plant more
and exponentially increase beauty.
I could not get enough of these trees.
They had such a peaceful quality
and their aging mottled skin inspired me.
Outside the village post office.
Notice the Liberte stamp representation
near the entrance.
A typical charming Cadenet exterior.
Shutters and windows of a certain size
are used everywhere.
In all colors.
The inviting flowered fence (above) and
exterior (below) of the Mayor's Office.
I believe this sign says that
Napoleon's drummer boy
was born in this home.
I knew this famous name from history:
Victor Hugo, the author of
The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
The hardware store merchants
Sometimes it was just fun to decipher a
French sign like this one:
Maison des Anciens
Or chat up the locals.
I loved the beans hanging down
from this French vine.
The French insistence on continuing
a unified Provencal "look"
did create charm.
The cherished their Provencal history
and prioritized it higher
than an individual homeowner's desire
to make grand changes to their houses.
The French, who prize individual liberty
as much as any American,
know that sometimes agreeing
to the common good
(in this case, strict controls on the look of housing)
creates something greater than we can do so individually.