preferring Les Jardins du Luxembourg -- they always seem livelier to me, and to offer more surprises in their various corners.
Now we're sitting in Lux. Gardens sketching, painting -- so pleasant. Around us people read, visit, listen to iPods. Nearby they play tennis, chess. Walking home from work, some businessmen look burdened, some purposeful, some begin to relax. Well-dressed Nanas steer their grandchildren home -- the little ones run ahead or ride their vélos or push their scooters. Unlikely runners exercise alongside more obvious athletes. Meticulously dressed grand dames remove their jackets, their shoes even, to stretch their legs into the sunshine, pulling two chairs together for maximum stretching comfort. From every direction, children's happy screams of play pierce the steady murmur of this concentrated collection of voices, in the background the subdued but insistent throbbing of Paris traffic.
Then I tuck the little book back in my bag and join my husband again in some sketching, even painting en plein air, thanks to the teeny paintbox and palette I've secreted in my capacious bag -- even have a wee jar of water in there. Don't worry, we're tucked discreetly in a corner where no one's likely to peer over our shoulders to scrutinize our amateur efforts or imagine we have any pretensions about what we're doing other than recording our experience in a kinetically visual, tactile manner. This view of the Panthéon over the park's trees, for example, will forever lift me back into that afternoon's respite.