My travels are over for the moment, but what a summer it has been! If you’ve read this blog much or know me at all, you know gratitude is one of my favorite things. It anchors me in the peace of God when worries and sorrows try to knock me down, and a few are trying at the moment, I’ll be honest.
Serenity is seeing a sunset and knowing who to thank. ∼ Unknown (some say Amish Proverb)
Count your blessings, we’re told. So here’s a visual list of some of the blessings I’m counting.
Tiny moments of peaceful beauty:
Long afternoons and longer evenings of joy with dear ones:
And always, forever, my beloved David . . . . I’ll never stop being grateful for him!
While I’m counting up my blessings, we’re also counting down the days until Chelsea’s baby, Beckett David Johnson, is born. He’ll be my first grandson, and the first grandchild who will live nearby. Any day now!
Baby Beckett, of course, will be one of the best blessings of all. Please keep him and Chelsea and Brian in your thoughts and prayers.
My sun sets to rise again. ∼ Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Wishing you peace and beauty and dear ones to share them with!
I’m temporarily back in Colorado, but certainly have more photos to share of beautiful France, I promise you!
Whether home in Colorado or here . . .
. . . I am officially back in the states after spending six and a half very busy weeks in France. I loved it, but I love being here, too.
The first morning at Sunapee, I woke very early. I don’t see many sunrises, since I’m more of a night-owl, but 6 a.m. in New Hampshire is noon in France, so for several days after my return, I was able to catch a bit of this beautiful serenity . . .
, , , before the more active lake life begins. This place, like La Rochelle, is a home away from home for me, which is fortunate since I’m headed back soon for yet another wedding in the family.
I love sharing times of celebration, but I also deeply appreciate serenity and the two don’t always go together. Sometimes they do, though. Soak in the tranquility of this view from the top of the Dune du Pilat, near Cap Ferret in southwestern France . . .
Here’s what was actually going on when I took the shot . . . .
. . . lots of people celebrating this marvel, not to mention the fact they made it to the top!
And another shot from on high . . .
. . . which was more about celebration than serenity, since we were VERY high up on a chairlift, so not feeling completely serene as we headed down from Nellie and Stefani’s wedding to their reception, but look how beautiful it is!
After the festivities and a few more days enjoying the lake, people started heading back to their regular lives and peace took the place of parties. It was then that I had another wave of missing David so much the sadness threatened to overwhelm the serenity. And I suspect it will continue to do so sometimes. I know I’m “allowed” to miss him and to still feel sadness, but sometimes the sharpness of it catches me by surprise. When I tried to take a walk up the road, I remembered this . . .
. . . and I had a choice to make. I could be sad he wasn’t walking up the road to greet me–and I was, I have to admit–but I could also choose, even while feeling sad, to be grateful that he had introduced me to this beautiful place, and even more, that he had chosen to spend the bulk of his adult life loving me. What a gift.
So I’m finding that sadness, serenity and celebration continue to dance through my life, at times politely taking turns like newcomers at a church picnic, sometimes weaving in and out and joining together unexpectedly, forming intricate patterns more complex and beautiful than the contra dancing I enjoyed at the Folk School. But the music continues to play, and I guess all I can do is dance.
After our tour of Bretagne, it was time to give Pascale and Jacky back their own space. We returned to La Rochelle on Sunday the 26th of May. I was moving into Le Patio on Tuesday, so Monday we had a chance for a long walk around Les Minimes, the larger beach and port of La Rochelle.
It was blustery but sunny and we walked all the way out to the end overlooking the new port and the channel into the vieux port.
A channel is absolutely necessary, because here when the tide goes out, it goes OUT.
So I’m now on the other side of the port. It used to be about 10 minutes by car, but now much of the central part of town is restricted to buses, bikes and pedestrians, and it’s a LONG way round by car. I can walk to Pascale and Jacky’s in about 40 minutes, with lots of people watching on the way. They pick me up for adventures involving luggage or events happening on my side and beyond, like our day on Île de Ré (next post).
This, by the way, is NOT where I’m staying, as you know if you read the first Bretagne post. But this gorgeous place IS in my neighborhood, only about a block away, so I walk by it all the time. Most houses come right up to the narrow sidewalk, but a few have a bit of garden in front. It’s more common to save the garden for the private space in back. Still there are lots of tall roses trémières (hollyhocks) growing up from the tiniest cracks where the pavement meets the walls. Excellent reminder to never give up.
David and I used to love the huge marché in the center of town. We rented an apartment about three doors down from it the last time we were here in May of 2017. This year I walk around the corner and inland a few blocks to the cutest little grocery, about the size of my kitchen at home and not much larger than my kitchen here, actually. But it has everything I need, including all the fancy French cheeses, a surprisingly sizable wine selection, produce so amazing I’m always tempted to buy more than I need, and dozens of fascinating little jars of soups and sauces and who knows what.
I treat the place like a museum. I spend so much time perusing, eventually someones asks me if I need help. I don’t. I’m just enjoying myself too much to leave.
So like the roses trémières and these roses from the patio, I’m trying to bloom where I’m planted, no matter how temporary. Wishing you the same!
Apparently, yesterday’s post was not well thought out. Now my girls are apologizing for neglecting me, which was NOT my intent! I was trying to let everyone know I was doing well and had a good day. Plus, I was doing so well yesterday, I wanted to share some love with all of you, with the photos of our family, including a couple fun ones with two of David’s brothers.