What is time – really?

When arriving to Callian this autumn I got a message from an old friend, he wrote: ”I still remember the branch of mimosa you sent us when you lived there 30 years ago.”

It might have been that reminder, that inspired me to visit Tanneron and the Forest of Mimosa once again, even if it’s off season.

Thirty years ago, a Swedish family decides to spend a year in France. We started out with the idea of living close to or in Paris, since it would be easier for me to work as a freelance journalist there.

It didn’t feel totally right though. 

My husband had a friend who owned a house in Callian, and we decided to visit the village in September 1990. We lived in his house, in the middle of the village. A house where the grounds where medevial. We fell in love. And then our friend found us a house right outside the village, a house with a garden, cherry trees and olive trees. It was almost too good to be true.

Late August 1991 we headed south. This was long before Sweden was a part of the European Union (not even named union at the time). And we thought we had to cross the border to Italy once every three months, to get new entries to France. We felt a bit like we were illegal immigrants.

And we had actually no real plan for what to do that year. And we thought we would spend time with our children 24/7 that year. Our son was six years old, and our daughter turned for in October.

We soon learned that our son had to go to school, even being Swedish, even being ”illegal”. All children spending time in France is obliged to go to school. Knowing that, we asked if there was a possibility for our daughter to go to kindergarten. ”If she is ´dry´ she is welcome, and since she is almost four she will get a space there.”

Suddenly we had two children in school and pre-school. And we learned a lot about the French school system. (There are loads of stories to tell about that).

I had spent time in Cannes, learning to love the smell of the yellow mimosas. It was irresistible to me. And when we learned that the forest would be blooming in February, we went to Tanneron on a school free day together with the kids. Even if I don’t have the photos nearby I still can see the pictures of my small children among the mimosas. And, as my friend told me, I must have sent a branch with flowers to them at the time.

So the other day we went to Tanneron. What does the trees look like when not blooming? Would I recognize them? Would something move inside me seeing them, maybe touching them?

As Staffan drove the car up the hills towards Tanneron, I started to see the trees. There is something a bit grayish over the leafs, a bit similar to the color of the olive tree leafs. I immediately recognized them. And something actually happened inside. It was like I was present in two time frames at the same time. Staffan and me being there in the now, me looking closely on the mimosa trees, and at the same time, my husband, the children and me visiting the forest, being amazed. For some moments it was like being there with them, also indulging the beautiful fragrance of the mimosas.

I took some photos of the trees, close ups of the leaves. And then I noticed that on some of the trees I could see the embryos of what I think is the flowers that will blossom next spring. It was like getting a taste of the future, of looking at tomorrow from a distance. And also that fascinated me.

And I got an urge to make a drawing of the leafs.

Charlotte Cronquist is a warrior of love

Love is the answer


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Charlotte Cronquist

Charlotte Cronquist
Bloggen för dig som vill få ut det mesta av livet. Författaren och coachen Charlotte Cronquist lär dig hur du får bättre relationer och hur du kan älska livet mer. Blogposts in English available.





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