Pink flamingos in France? Really????
I was incredulous to learn from Philipe one evening at dinner that the Camargue was a protected breeding area for pink flamingos. It was not on the itinerary, so I was very excited when Patrick announced we'd be going there the following morning.
My fascination with the color pink began when I was five or six years old. As far as I can remember, it started with a ruffly, bubble-gum pink taffeta dress bought for a birthday party. Or, it might have been when I confiscated a spool of pink thread from the family sewing basket, hiding it under my pillow, claiming the color pink as my own.
My passion for pink flamingos came later in life.
Once family and friends discovered my interest in all things flamingo, all things flamingo began coming my way. Every birthday and every other gift-giving holiday I received flamingo clothes, jewelry, clocks, pictures, lamps, salt and pepper shakers and cups. Flamingos were on everything from kitchen ware to wearing apparel. Although I never lost my love of the color pink or pink flamingos, the collection became unsustainable and I had to banish flamingos from my life.
We set out early the next morning down a road barely wide enough for the bus, past the young black bulls
and white horses standing in fields next to rice paddies of the famous red Camargue rice. I was self-monitoring any feelings that might surface from my phobia of quicksand and marshy areas which I've never taken time to analyze. Any anxiety I might normally have experienced was overshadowed with excitement about seeing flamingos in the wild, which is considerably different than seeing them held captive in the zoo.
The suspense was palpable as the bus slowed to a crawl. Patrick was the first to see them. The flock of pink flamingos flying in for a landing were breathtakingly beautiful, and it was a sublime moment in time.
The first thing we did when we got back to Paris was head to Pays De Poche at 73 rue Galande (in the Latin Quarter) to
purchase the whimsical little flamingo I'd seen in the window but restrained myself from buying three weeks earlier!