University of Wisconsin–Madison

Earthy Moment

Summer in southern France is slow, relaxing and charming. You can spend two hours having a delicious meal, appreciating a glass of fine wine, and starting to be a little tipsy while you’re tanning in the sun. In the park, you see beautiful and young ladies everywhere, wearing sunglasses, laughing and smoking cigarettes together.

After several weeks of relaxing ourselves like this, on a Saturday morning, my friends and I decided to explore more places and do some exercises, for example, go hiking. We chose Mountain Sainte Victoire.

Mountain Sainte Victoire is a limestone mountain and it used to be portrayed in Paul Cézanne’s paintings quite frequently. Its highest point is the Pic des mooches at 3317 feet.

See a Cézanne painting of Mont Sainte Victoire here: Cézanne Painting of Mont Sainte Victoire

While we were on our way to the highest point, I saw a French girl wearing a strappy sun dress, a pair of flats and a pair of sunglasses, which was a lovely outfit you expect to see at a shopping mall. But she looked stunning.

I kept going up, the detritus started to hurt my feet and I saw a centipede creeping. It was noon, and the sun was burning. I was panting, sweating and struggling to move my feet a little further. Eventually I had to sit down and rest a bit. Meanwhile, two old French ladies were going down the mountain. Their hair was grey and they were both wearing dresses. Though the way down was not easy, both of them walked slowly but elegantly, and with the burning sun and the mistral, their hair still managed to look perfect.

Mystery. I said to myself.

After two hours of hiking, and half an hour of constantly asking “are we there yet,” we’ve finally reached the top of the mountain. We lied down on the rooftop of a little house that’s located on top of the mountain. The view was breathtaking and the wind was whistling. At that moment, I felt I slowly dissolved back into nature and nothing could bother me any more. That was the magic of Earth.

Me doing Yoga on top of the mountain
Me doing Yoga on top of the mountain


The view from the rooftop
The view from the rooftop