Where the Oysters and Dunes Are
I shouldn’t be surprised by how quickly I developed a taste for oysters. It wasn’t hard to achieve considering I was seated overlooking the water from which they came. Paired with a sweet white wine, and served with a tin bucket of french bread and perfectly melting butter, this was a lunch to remember. I was fixated upon the sophisticated French women surrounding our table. Thin and naturally beautiful, and all puffing away incessantly on their cigarettes. I quickly realized as i coughed from the second-hand smoke and finished a second bucket of bread, that I would never be like them. At least though, I could relax in the same scene as them, downing oysters, toasting in the autumn sunlight, and counting sailboats.
La Herbe, France was a sweet escape on our way back to Spain from Bordeaux. To get to our lunch spot, we navigated the colorful alleys of pastel painted homes of oyster farmers. What a world to have at your doorstep.
Earlier was had taken a walk through the ritzy town of Cap Ferret. Drinking an incredibly overpriced bottled orange juice, I felt like any moment a celebrity or royalty might pass. Instead, just a steady stream of beautiful bicycles ridden by beautiful people, with cute dogs chasing after the tires. I was a world away from my normal Ohio life.
Just before sunset we had one last stop. I had dozed off during the ride, as afternoon siestas were becoming somewhat of a routine, but my haze gently lifted when I saw the dune before me. I had been teased by its presence all day from the other side of the bay, but I wasn’t prepared for the majesty of Dune du Pyla close up. We tore up its side, forgoing the use of the staircase, and jealous of those on their way back down, leaping unrestrained, sand flying everywhere and laughing the whole way.
Once at the top, the view before us slowed our racing hearts. Sandwiched between a dense green forest and a sea bracing itself to catch the falling sun, the dune reigned supreme. Caught up in the color and the endless ripples of sand, as always I wanted to hold on to the moment forever, but knew I had to give it away to the cyclical darkness that would soon overtake the mighty dune.
Comforted by the fact that there would be more moments and views, I bound down the dune with deep sand-soaked steps and a child-like joy.