It’s safe to say that summer 2020 has been unexpected, to say the least. In early March we were enjoying our yearly getaway to Harbour Island, and beginning the process of booking our summer travels. As usual, I planned to spend the summer in my home base of Paris, while traveling to the Loire Valley, Provence, Normandy, French Riviera, Italy, and England for weddings and photoshoots. However, thanks to Covid-19, the entire globe’s plans were derailed and I found myself in the United States eagerly awaiting the reopening of the European borders to Americans. My summer travel calendar was wiped clean and, while not a day goes by that my heart doesn’t ache for my beloved Paris, I’ve also relished the opportunity to have a quiet, restorative season celebrating the nostalgia of an All-American Summer.
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Instead of my typical exhilarating (albeit exhausting) constant stream of planes, trains, and automobiles, this summer has been an exercise in embracing the slow, simple pleasures of life. A trip to the lake house where we were blissfully off-the-grid for five wonderful days of sun, swimming, kayaking, and enjoying more than our fair share of cheese and wine. Long golden days spent at our country club, playing tennis, reading in the shade, and attempting to learn golf. A dream, socially-distanced getaway to our favorite East Coast retreat, The Greenbrier. Soaking up the classic Americana at the drive-in movie theater. And, savoring the essence of home. I’ve learned how to bake sourdough bread, make homemade pasta, and even how to bake my own crackers. On rainy afternoons, oil painting in my studio has been an absolute joy for me. And, our garden has never been more abundant – overflowing with a bounty of vegetables, herbs, and flowers. My morning ritual of sipping a cup of tea while I water our blooms has been such a rejuvenating way to start my day, while most evenings you will find me curled up on our front porch swing with a book watching the sunset.
Yes, it has been very different than the usual glamorous (albeit sometimes chaotic) summers hopping around Europe and the Mediterranean, but I’ve chosen to embrace this time and am truly grateful for the opportunity I have been given to rest, reflect, and reconnect with a slower way of life. Paradoxically, next summer is shaping up to be the busiest of my career, and the older I get, the more I understand that life can often feel like two dichotomies. Instead of resisting, I recognize that when something is taken away something else has been given – and right now I feel an abundance of gratitude for this current season of our life. That being said, when the borders reopen and weddings begin, I will be that much more ready to celebrate love, beauty, travel, and life’s most important moments!