Do you ever walk somewhere and get a sense in your being you need to go back? I tried to ask a few of my housemates this and most of them gave me puzzled looks. Nîmes sort of felt that way to me.
The first time I experienced this feeling was going through the airports in Germany when I was 19 and I had this strong sense of, “I want, and I need, to come back here one day.” As Jenna and I walked through the Jardin de la Fontaine I just couldn’t hold it in any longer, “I just want to BE here.” Sure I’ve loved the other places I’ve wandered since I arrived but all of a sudden it felt like I could live here.
I hesitate to say anything too concrete because I feel like there’s this big knot in my brain trying to resolve it all and I really have no idea what to expect from life right now BUT the feeling is familiar, that I can say for sure. I have so many places at the moment I long to be both in France and others not. I have often wondered if I’m just destined to find a way to be a nomad. I want to work, to be sure, I just don’t feel like my life exists in any one place forever. I have things I want to do along the way and some in specific places, but I long to be in many places and to do many things and one town, one country just doesn’t suffice. But I urge you, for the sake of the moment, please hesitate to remind me of the mounds of paperwork and the cost of even getting here.
There is much I could say about this city but at this point, my vocabulary doesn’t tell it well enough. It was a great day that started by cycling to the train station in the morning, a stopover in Tarascon. After delayed trains back home we cycled into old-Arles for a glass of wine on chilly patio next to the Van Gogh cafe, fit with live music and a relaxing celebration of Jenna’s final weekend here with us before riding back home in the black of night along our little country road.
So while I’m not sure of what the future holds I’m pretty sure I’ll at least be back for another visit before July. This is a city that left a mark on me just like Germany left a mark or like Florence left a mark. I’m not sure what they mean, but I’m tucking them away until I better understand.