Saturday, April 25, 2009

slay me with beauty

Does it wear off? This being constantly blown away by aesthetics, by a sense of place, by history and thoughtful architecture? Will I ever find it ordinary? Do the people who live in Europe, were born here, even see it.
I'm finding the beauty of this place so incredibly distracting, it's almost disturbing. I find myself saying such inane things, like, "I can't get over how beautiful that roofline is," and "I love the way the old stone houses look."
Honestly, my words, my compliments, my appreciation of the beauty of this place sound so dumb coming out of my mouth.

But I do love the markets. I love the parks. I love the houses, the way the shutters are all painted a different color, sage green, forest green, brick red, cornflower blue, gray....

I love the way the farmyards are in the middle of town, the way I'm drawn down every alleyway, ever narrow passage, ever winding street like a woman possessed.

And the endless fields of vibrant yellow oilseed rape, the stuff that is making my nose tickle and my eyes itch. It's killing me.

Esther sees it too. "Look at that dazzling yellow field," she said the other day. Dazzling indeed.

Coming to France in the spring, just in time to see entire hillsides grow gauzy and soft with apple and cherry blossoms, and smell the lilac and wysteria is a trap. I am suffering from delusions of perfection. Wondering why the entire world doesn't just come here and look and find their problems solved.

Of course I'm choosing to ignore the fact that something like 70 percent of France's energy comes from nuclear power. So far I haven't spotted a reactor, but I know they're out there. Somewhere.

Please excuse me if I say nothing of substance here, I'm still reeling, in the early throes of falling in love. I'm blinded by the feeling. Stupid with love. This kind of passion can't last. I'll come around soon. Won't I?

For proof that it's not all lilacs and apple blossoms, click here.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Returning to me

Cool. I just logged onto Blogger and it was all in French.

I'm embarrassed about how long it has taken me to write another post. I have so much to blog about it makes my head spin, and it makes my kids crazy.

"Mom, mom, mooooooommmmm!!!!" "Oh, I'm sorry, did you say something, darling."

I'm constantly composing blog posts in my head. The problem is, I can't get any fricken internet access at the cottage we're living in so I have to go to the Post, or a wifi cafe, or the Tourist Office in the nearest big town and do all the "necessary" online business, that doesn't include blogging, while my family waits for me in the car, or worse yet, explores France without me.

I am loving France. I am feeling a bit like I actually understand that expression, "returning to me."

There's definitely a part of me that's been dormant wayyyy too long I feel stirring. It's so great to find the entire world so incredibly rich and filled with surprised again. Just standing at the meat counter and trying to figure out how I'm going to ask for some sliced ham with my limited French and a lot of sign language is enough excitement to last me a day.

And every time I understand how much I owe at a checkout, without having to ask them to say it again, or simply thrust 20 Euros at them and hope it's enough, is like a little victory.

Very cool.

And.... since the husband, my dear translator, is home with the kids waiting for me to return so he can get back to the construction plans, that's all I can write. Esther and Isla are home watching Tigger Movie in French. They're on their second viewing this morning. All in the name of education.

More about our French escapades, here and here.