Over the last few months I have rekindled my relationship with the library. It arose initially out of financial concerns. It seemed frivolous to be spending the amount of money I was on books, especially books that I wasn't sure I would enjoy, let alone love. I've gotten the last few bookclub books either on loan from friends or from the library.
Over the last month I have been driving out to my suburban office for work. Pretty much a 40 minute ride in the morning and an hour back in the evening. Without tv in my home it was a great time to get my current events on with NPR and WXRT. However, radio can get old after awhile.
So last time I hit the library I decided to get myself an audiobook. Now, the Logan Square library, while shiny and new, is still a little lacking in its overall selection of materials. But I came across "A Good Year" by Peter Mayle. The brief synopsis: an overworked and newly fired English banker finds out his uncle has died and left him his estate in Provence.
I just started disc 4 out of 6 and can barely describe how much I'm enjoying it. While barrelling down I-55 in the doom and gloom of impending winter, I am transported to a fantasy world of chateau, vineyards, simple country living, food and, of course, wine.
I tend to eschew the idea of living in a fantasy world, preferring to be face to face with reality, and most often, the uglier side of that reality. But my commute has become a magical time for me, free from the constraints of my quotidian existence. Imagining myself, as Max, exploring the possibility of an entirely new life. And in Provence no less.
Today it roused my memories of the time I was lucky enough to have spent in France. A mere 10 days, but what a trip. Paris and the Loire valley were incredible. And it made me grateful, for it was me, myself who traveled by car from Frankfurt to Paris, stopping in the Champagne region along the way. It is a permanent chapter in my life, my first glimpse of the Eiffel Tower, wandering the Rodin museum, the Louvre and my first taste of pigeon, the Hotel Diderot in Chinon and tasting wine with Catherine in her vineyard.
Life IS good.