It’s officially spring. Which makes me think of picnicking. Which makes me think of one of the best picnics ever.
I was in my 20s, on leave of absence from my Madison Avenue advertising job, visiting Europe, for two months, by myself.
There were times during those months when I was achingly lonely. But there were also times gloriously full of the freedom that only happens when you’re miles away from everything you know and have only the moment’s whim to attend to.
One day, a whim took me to Versailles. I dutifully toured the palace, and then discovered there was a lot more to it—the estate is actually a huge park. I mean HUGE. Complete with formal gardens, fountains, sculptures, promenades, long stretches of pathways, and even a grand canal.
I rented a bike and rode around.
Eventually, I bought a ham and Brie baguette from a food cart—the same kind that, in Central Park, would be selling hot dogs—and found a shady spot to enjoy my lunch.
I ate. I read. I sat back and soaked it in.
I mean, me, picnicking, in France. A ham and Brie in my hand and a bicycle at my feet.
Life was good.
And isn’t life always good on a picnic? Isn’t that sort of the point? To get outdoors, relax, and appreciate?
So do—go on a picnic, but also relax and appreciate.
It’s spring. The season of rebirth and renewal. That’s something to celebrate. With a nice bottle of wine and—why not?—a ham and Brie baguette.