The slow acceleration of the train began as did the slow stripping of the skyscrapers, the hustle, the clutter of the urban setting of Paris. The soft streak of the naked, leafless shrubbery rushing by leaving nothing but a shadow of a color– it all whirled by revealing little by little lush green fields with interspersed tiny villages of thirty plus people in ancient, restored farm houses all huddled comfortably under a luminous pale blue sky. A hello, a generous family, a genuine smile, the sense of being missed by a loved one allowing for emotions to spread across faces like watercolor paints over a damp canvas. Normandy is the fleeting blur of a dream, an escape from the steel and rigidity of the city life that was Paris. It had the ability to slow down the clock, relax the mind, cleanse the soul with each crisp inhalation. The insurmountable charm and effortless elegance that oozed out of every red brick, every neat garden only strengthened the connection that I saw between nature and the development of a certain type of intellect. What causes these earthly bindings that we all have with nature, allowing it to inspire us, push our thinking forward even though futuristic ideas are in stark contrast to the fundamental characteristics of nature in general. Does countryside like Normandy allow for thriving centers of culture, like Paris, to exist. The juxtaposition of the countryside and city, a relationship resulting in the very paintings of the landscapes of the deep French countryside hanging on the walls in the finest Parisian museums demonstrating in how the capability to control and shape ones environment ends in the submission of those who are there earning for an escape while strolling the hallways of the Louvre, d’Orsay, and l’Orangerie. The gentle domination producing an environment cultivated by those who allow for its thriving independence while reaping the benefits. The best wine, the best cheese, the best horses, the best hospitality, the best of the best.