Printemps en Novembre”, she called out, jumping up and down and went on to enthusiastically inform me she had just embraced an ancient tree and felt renewed, a sentiment that had apparently coincided with seeing me approach, on my way back from groceries, which made her bounce with infectious pleasure, “Encore plus de joie!”
I find it hard to imagine any conversation in my inadequate French could entail a prospect worth twinkling over, but our neighbor from the adjacent hamlet is indubitably sincere at all times and also one of the nicest people I know, so stopping the car was absolutely no punishment. Our chitchat, a quick update of all that happened since our last powwow, was totally trivial and literally all over the place, yet gave me a gratifying sense of belonging I was very happy to take home with me.
Besides being the friendly neighbor that brings us fresh eggs and apple juice, she is also the ultimate source of information around, of all things practical (when and where the bakery van stops), cultural (I want you two writers to be the judges in the children’s contest in our local Salon de Poésie this weekend) and spiritual (let’s go on a walk together to the fairy rock and I’ll tell you their stories). Born and raised here but no stranger to a bigger world, her heart for the beauty and magic that surrounds us in the Berry beats in a similar rhythm as ours, forging a connection that easily breaks down the language barrier that sometimes makes us feel weary before even saying a word.
I so have enjoyed traveling the world, often entertaining the question in the back of my mind if I could live there, wherewith all these outlooks gained a comparable and personal interpretation, reinforced by the unintelligibility of foreign languages, reducing noice by simply not having to worry about appropriate responses and interactions.
Spring in November indeed, lots of our flowering plants have begun a new cycle of splendor that I don’t quite grasp and find rather worrisome in terms of climate change. Not denying any of that, but with a travel inspired regard, I like to turn to our roses that do flower more conventionally. They speak a language I do understand.