The local market and the butcher are closed on Mondays in our village. It’s just as well because the mere whisper of snow on the ground stops traffic and today the whisper is more of a shout. There’s an odd beauty to a snow covered Provencal landscape. The blue light from the snow plays with the countless shades of blue and green throughout the village. Blue and green being the ‘official’ preferred color for shutters, windows and doors (that said, the current shutter trend is actually a murky mushroom color).
Besides being a fantastically practical invention to keep out the heat and cold, shutters are the only canvas these houses have to express their individuality against the backdrop of neutral colored local stone and stucco. Self expression comes in many forms and there’s nothing like a newly painted pair of shutters in an ‘alternative’ color to start a conversation.
I personally love the ritual of shutters. Leaning out the window, pulling them tightly closed at the end of the day is a protective gesture. I think of my house closing it’s eyes, getting well deserved rest.
Morning brings the creaks and moans of the hinges as the shutters swing out into the daylight (are they the same creaks I feel when I get out of bed?). That sound is echoed throughout the village and I sense it’s connection to the past.
Today most of the shutters I see are closed. Either waiting for the thaw or maybe waiting like me, for tomorrow, for the chance to begin again.