An envisioning . . . 1925 and a sunny morning in the countryside outside Lyon .

Oh to be there.

The sun out and the flowers almost bouncing right out of the ground. The children out for a walk with nurse and a husband gone off on a walking tour of the Grand Massif.

Mother’s poetry notebooks and the chair by the door in the back garden next to where the plane trees head for the sky.

A joy it is. The war almost destroying everything. But all that done with and the business doing well. Having to interview to find two more maids not so fun but less work once they start. A housekeeper next or a chauffeur depending on how well the factory does. Every lady with any pretensions to be chic needing a flatter bust but not forever. No. Corsets before but not now. Needing to be able to change faster than a pebble can be skipped across the creek by a little boy down in the village.

A second glass of chicory water and another notebook gone through. All the way from Switzerland, they are. Mother remarried and her husband insisting on a new house with much given away.

The last notebook falling apart and its contents scattered across the grass like a deck of cards dropped by a child up in the day nursery. Notes scattered and some photographs.

But some older. A watercolor, it must be, from before they even had daguerrotypes. People who did the same but watercolors and sketches instead. But this one very grand. A little boy in plaid, not old enough to be breeched yet and standing in front of one of the chairs in the dining room.

Trying to remember . . .mother’s uncle, he must be. . . hard . . .dead with diphtheria at nine but no one breeched until they were four or five. . . .no . . . .healthy and happy and not knowing . . . .some things no  one wants to know . . . happy in the moment and all one ever really has . . .

Portrait of Nicholas Maximilianovich, Duke of Leuchtenberg, as a Child. 1844.
Portrait of Nicholas Maximilianovich, Duke of Leuchtenberg, as a Child. 1844. Watercolor on paper. Woldemar Hau, artist (1816-1895). Collection of the Museum of Tropinin and His Contemporaries, Moscow. In the public domain because the artist has been dead over 100 years. via

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