There Is A Garden Even When There Are No Trees - Carla Coulson
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There is a garden even when there are no trees

paris, black and white, carla coulson, photography paris, winter in paris, black and white photography, carla coulson photography

Dear Folks,

On a bright sunny winter’s day, I landed back in Paris after an even bigger, brighter, barefoot couple of weeks in Australia still with my beach hair tucked into my hat.

Paris was showing off! All the winter sunshine coming at crazy angles, making every object, person and bare tree have exaggerated shadows and teasing the photographer in me as cafés, shops, and metro stations flashed by from the taxi window.

I was so grateful to have escaped the Parisian winter for a couple of weeks to Oz to see my family and friends and reconnect with my inner and outer Australian, yet today I was dazed and amazed to see Paris in winter in all of this light.

The following day, it felt like God had switched off the light, the way I remembered Paris in winter. Clouds descend and hover over the zinc roofs, the sun comes up at 9 am and goes down around 5 pm and those jet-lagged hours between 5 am and 9 am feel like the bleakest hours of your life as you wait for the first ray of light praying that the sun will rise just one more time.

paris, black and white, carla coulson, photography paris, winter in paris, black and white photography, carla coulson photography

paris, black and white, carla coulson, photography paris, winter in paris, black and white photography, carla coulson photography

Seasonal amnesia had hit again. I had forgotten what it felt like when the temperature is so low it is too cold to snow!!! That darkness that strikes at the very heart of my Australian light-loving spirit, the cold that makes you want to have hot baths twice a day and with a click of my fingers I forgot why I am here.

It was in this bleak jetlagged mood that I was given a gentle reminder by a Parisian friend about where to find the garden in Paris. We were talking about swimming in the sea and having a garden, about the beauty of plants, trees and flowers and how deeply I needed them in my life. He told me this:

“In Paris, our garden is our city, it’s streets, cafes, cinemas, and museums. We call it ‘l’art de vivre’ – taking advantage of the good things in life. It’s not the big luxuries, it’s also the small luxuries, life’s very own luxuries. Soft music, a cup of hot tea in your hands, admiring a beautiful painting, walking along a boulevard as the city comes alive or enjoying a little elegance. It’s about sitting in a café and reading your favourite book, watching life come and go, knowing no-one will ever hurry you along.

Just like you would go and spread a picnic rug on the grass on Sunday in Australia, we go and have lunch in a local café with friends and spend the afternoon in a museum, letting the art be our trees and the cinema be our swim in the ocean. We look inwards and use the winter to slow down, recharge, relax and reflect. We use our city and it’s details like a garden to soothe, regenerate and inspires us so that when the Spring comes your creative well is full, your energy is recharged and you can go forth into the real gardens and enjoy.”

paris, carla coulson, photography paris, winter in paris, carla coulson photography, flowers, paris streets, garden

paris, carla coulson, photography paris, winter in paris, carla coulson photography, flowers, paris streets

So wherever you are, there is a garden just waiting for you to walk through it, to smell the roses, listen to the music and gaze at its beauty. Like Paris in winter, it may be a garden of a different kind; you just need to be reminded how to find it.

Sending love and roses from this beautiful café where I am writing this after seeing a ‘flower filled’ exhibition.

Love and hugs,

Carla x

 

Related Post: Why Joy is like Spiritual Crack

 

4 Comments
  • Wonderful blog post. Can so identify with this – even here in the south of France – or perhaps more, because we are too spoiled with sunshine. When it’s overcast and gloomy and cold and the world is grey, our spirits can become grey too. Love your words on this. My answer is hot soup!

    January 30, 2019 at 8:22 am
  • Beautifully written Carla!! I shall bear this closely in mind as our gardens face terrible drought conditions in the middle of an overheated New Zealand summer.

    January 30, 2019 at 9:50 am
  • This is just lovely and the pictures capture the beauty of Paris. I would find a cafe and drink endless cafe creme. And then move on to champagne. xoxo

    January 30, 2019 at 1:34 pm
  • So true Carla and having only a petit balcon I have learned all yer round to get my garden fix beyond my walls. Every season has its beauty and as nature dictates we too need a time during the year where we rest more, do not much, reflect, regroup etc this is the WINTER of our life seasons. I cherish the hot teas by the fire, the catch up on book reading, the walks among fallen leaves all rugged up with crisp air on my skin. xx

    January 31, 2019 at 9:48 am

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