Trianon Gardens, Versailles
Trianon gardens, Versailles

Glittery Gardens of Versailles

Versailles gardens

Versailles gardens


This time in Paris has been exquisite.  I’ve been very quiet, keeping to myself and following the rhythms of my body.  That might have been my truest desire this trip—learning to listen to my body.  To rest, to walk, to eat, to go to bed, to watch tv, to read, to make tea—or coffee, a real luxury for me!—to work on photos or the novel… These I just let myself choose and do on whims.  Too often, I push too hard through life, as I think many of us do (particularly us Americans).  I make too many plans and appointments, not leaving enough emptiness.  It hasn’t been the trip I planned even two months ago when the urge compelled, but it’s been the vacation I needed.

A visit to Versailles was one of the whims, and I’m sure to return before I depart this coming week.  Walking through the gardens, I found myself almost always alone.  It’s a magical feeling, moving through the bosquets or the Trianon without another soul in sight.  This is the surreal pleasure to be found on cold, windy, wet mornings.  Equally surreal is the effect of the sculptures and fountains without the colorful framing of a garden in full bloom.  The color of the stone and the glitter of gilded figures seems impossible, a trick of the eye, the product of desire rather than of reality.  I had forgotten this, having only ever photographed Versailles in black-and-white.  Now I look increasingly at the color around me.  The result is a new world.

I plan some small excursions today, then maybe something larger tomorrow.   I might visit my favorite cheese shop this morning; I might do a little shopping in the afternoon.  It all depends.  Perhaps I’ll spend all day stretching out my sore legs on the couch and exploring colorful photographs.  Again, it’s okay to just rest.  And thankfully—so thankfully I could burst into tears—I have a large chunk of the summer back in Paris.  Fifteen days is just a “gouter,” not a full “repas.”

What are your plans this weekend?

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. I love Versailles in the winter – so much quieter. And I think the bare trees help you focus even more on the geometric patterns of the gardens.

    I’m luxuriating in NYC this weekend – missing you of course! Going to the ballet twice, out to lunch, shopping, but also taking time to rest and read, and catch up on some correspondence I’d been remiss in responding to. I too love finding peace in a large city.

    I’m also coming home with 3 orange boxes – the newest Annie Faivre, Jardin de la Maharani, in pale pink, which I couldn’t resit at Bergdorf’s , and 2 H Deco mugs, a suprise gift from dear dear A. All in all, a glorious weekend!

  2. These photos are so beautiful. A whole park all to yourself. I am pondering how early you had to get up to find this serenity. The daylight hours are finally visibly expanding here, we’ve had record rainfall for February so everybody is hungry for some sunshine and colors. Even all the spring flowers and plants are late this year. My weekend plans consist of pruning back my 75 rose bushes. Your listening to your body sounds exemplary, definitely something we should do more and I am quite guilty of not doing it, too. Enjoy the remaining days in Paris and safe travels back.

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