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THE WINDMILLS OF YOUR MIND (Resting in Ceyreste 1)

You know that you have arrived in France when the windmills start appearing, fields of them running along the motorways leading away from Calais. By windmills I mean wind turbines of course, those huge yet strangely graceful structures that look like the Martian spacecraft in H G Wells, War of the Worlds – not proper windmills (after all we are in France not Holland). I find myself thinking about the song, The Windmills of Your Mind (from the film The Thomas Crown Affair that won an Oscar for Original Song  in 1969). Not only is the tune by French composer Michael Legrand haunting, but the lyrics by Alan and Marilyn Bergman seem very pertinent for Julia and myself at this time, particularly the way in which they describe how the business of everyday life – ‘the worries and cares of the world’ Jesus called them (Mark 4:19) – has the ability to get our heads spinning.

Like a circle in a spiral
Like a wheel within a wheel
Never ending or beginning
On an ever-spinning reel
Like a snowball down a mountain
Or a carnival balloon
Like a carousel that’s turning
Running rings around the moon
Like a clock whose hands are sweeping
Past the minutes of its face
And the world is like an apple
Whirling silently in space
Like the circles that you find
In the windmills of your mind

Like a tunnel that you follow
To a tunnel of its own
Down a hollow to a cavern
Where the sun has never shone
Like a door that keeps revolving
In a half-forgotten dream
Or the ripples from a pebble
Someone tosses in a stream
Like a clock whose hands are sweeping
Past the minutes of its face
And the world is like an apple
Whirling silently in space
Like the circles that you find
In the windmills of your mind

We are off on holiday for a whole three weeks. We are driving down to a campsite near Cassis on the Mediterranean. We are not rushing down but taking our time stopping off en route to visit Reims Cathedral, Chalon-sur-Sâone, and Salon-de-Provence. Once we have arrived at Camping de Ceyreste, however, we plan to do absolutely nothing – for the first few days at least, and nothing strenuous for the remaining two weeks. We have rented a chalet with all mod cons so no putting up tents for us. Just plenty of rest, reading novels, a bit of writing of our journals, a bit of watercolour painting, taking some photographs, swimming in the pool and the Mediterranean Sea, some nice walks in the surrounding countryside and along the coast, and the occasional visit to some interesting places nearby – but all at a leisurely pace. Oh, and some nice meals, either on our veranda or in one or other

of the local restaurants, washed down with a glass or two of the local wine. Time for us to allow the windmills of our minds to wind down and find that ‘place of quiet rest, near to the heart of God’.

Jim Binney

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