One year in Brittany and the bilan is overwhelmingly positive. I haven’t worked in the garden as much as I would have liked to. I’m still a few boxes short of having sorted everything we have, mainly too small girls clothing but I am still holding out on actually getting ride of those (a hearts secret hope, maybe, or perhaps a bit of folie, it is what it is, I am not ready to get rid of anything, yet)…
Our village was very welcoming to us. The girls love their school. They have friends. And so do I. As many expats can attest to, making friends, your own friends, can sometimes be difficult. I have been lucky to have made friends in France fairly easily from the start, but many were girlfriends of my husbands friends. I am lucky to have them, even still many moves later, I count them as great friends, women I can count on, women who I witnessed becoming mothers, and vice versa. But these friends, here, in our village, are my own. I have found them, and befriended them, on my own. We have some things in common, children in the same school, but they are kind, they invite me to events, send me text messages, check in with me if we haven’t seen each other in a few days, they would pick up my children from school if needed, who would watch them if I had an appointment. And it feels good.
I am invited to the girls classrooms to read or play games in English fairly regularly. I was asked to read at the library (albeit for now in French; but I hope to start an English story time now and then). I Zumba with the village ladies once a week, walk with the school on a hike weekly as well. I go to the weekly market for the organic goat cheese, fruit and vegetables, the roast chickens, the cheese monger for the thick cream and eggs and beautiful cheese choices. I know the local supermarket ladies, my neighbors, the postman. This village has become our own.
I still let myself dream of a little chateau, or many acres with a farmhouse, animals, and extensive vegetable gardens, or even the field behind our house to add to our own 1.25 acres. But I am content, happy, and in a place in my life I enjoy, and we are so lucky to be here, right now.