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Magic in Provence

After spending about two months in Paris, I feel completely comfortable here as if it were a second home. I am aquatinted with the crowded morning commute, used to the loud hustle and bustle of each city street, and familiar with the best farmers markets. When it came time for our weekend trip to Provence, I was excited and full of zero expectations. I figured it would be nice to get out of the city for the weekend but I didn't know how nice until we arrived in the small, almost deserted town of Avignon. Stepping off the bus into the sunny town square, it was clear that we were no longer in Paris. I was immediately taken aback by the utter silence. Even with a few tourists wandering around, it was quieter than what I had grown used to in Paris. The quiet made my other senses heighten. I felt a pull I couldn't ignore to break away from the guided tour and explore every still and unseen street. The result was a great venture that included finding lavender flavored gelato (score), a few good photos on my 35mm camera, and a confused tour guide (whoops!).

The next day felt even more still when the fog rolled in over the olive tree coated hillsides and rain swept through the gravel streets. Despite the weather, we set out to visit a local farmers market where we were given free time to explore. After wandering around a bit, some friends and I found a quant antique store with a back porch facing a steady stream. Some of the antiques sold at the store were displaced down by the river and, in the case of this set of table and chairs, actually within it. When I saw this display my heart filled with nostalgia. The copper table and chairs were worn after spending who knows how long in the river's path. The best part was the glasses and water jug set on the table, slowly but surely filling up with each rain drop falling from above. As an artist, I immediately read a deeper meaning from this display and saw it more as installation art. This table, set much like any you would see in a Parisian cafe, sits in a completely dysfunctional space--so isolated that it seems to be simply waiting to be taken by a couple or two friends.

This was my most enchanting moment of the trip, but of course the weekend was filled with other amazing scenes. I felt a bitter sweetness leaving the calm Provence but was comforted upon returning to the familiarity of Paris. I have these photos to hold on to the feeling that the town gave me, and looking at them now they feel almost like an old relic, telling a secret story of a magical place hidden within the hills. 

Morgan Mein is the Spring 2015 CEA MOJO Photographer in Paris, France. She is currently a junior at Chapman University.
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