07.09.2017

I managed to go for a walk this morning which is something I’ve been meaning to do every day since school started!  It was beautiful, as usual, Brittany never seems to fail in that regard.  Down the road we have a tiny little sign indicating the Chapelle Saint Jean.  It is a dirt path, and up until now I’ve never had a chance to see what is at the end.  I finally took the time this morning and it is a amazingly cute little chapelle, with a red door, at the end of a path.

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Some quick research online seems to point to the original building being built in 1656.  I’ve lived in France now for a long time and still find wonder in such old things.  I can picture in my mind baptisms, weddings, celebrations of all kind.  People walking from surrounding areas to the church for Sunday mass, maybe?  Baskets full?  Did they ring the bell often?  Does the bell still ring?  The chateau in this area is the Rosmorduc chateau, was the church associated?

When my girls were born we didn’t have them baptized.  I was not baptized as a child and at the time of my own children births didn’t feel the need to have them baptized. I now sometimes wonder about that choice.  In a world that feels so unsure, so hard, so sad…  Maybe having some hope, faith, attachment to traditions, isn’t a bad thing?  Walking over the same steps, the same phrases, the rituals that have little changed over time…  Having that reassurance of being part of something so much bigger then oneself…  And perpetuating years of traditions, carrying down rites people have held onto for centuries.

We visited Lourdes this summer and watching all the people come in hope, for healing, for peace, was beautiful.  I found it peaceful, and inspiring after visiting once with my inlaws, so went back with my girls and husband a few days later…  Religion and the history of France are very much braided together- it is the cradle in many ways of French civilization, its past and present; tied into family history, into celebrations and traditions.

I wonder some days if I’ve somewhat denied my children part of that, the passing down of gestures, celebrations and traditions.  Maybe one of them one day will need the belief in something bigger then them, and without having been given a religious direction would have to search for one?  I rarely doubt what we’ve decided to do as parents, but this one has been weighing on my mind a bit lately.  As I get “older” (though I am far from old); I think that maybe I would like one day to have my last rights, I’d like to be able to be buried next to my husband and loved ones, I’d like to have some faith in, well, something…

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03.09.2017

The Sunday before the réntrée…  A rainy, gray, wish-I-spent-more-time-outside-yesterday kind of day.  We are all curled up on the couch (in pants, socks and sweaters!) watching a movie.  And in-between the squeals and peels of laughter from my girls I’m thinking back on our summer.  They always seem to fly by…

I’m sad to see summer go.  We had a lot of fun this summer and it was fairly stress free.  We travelled to the south west of France, the haute pyrénées, for two weeks, where we hiked, visited sites, relaxed.  On our way home, we went to the center of France, near La Roche Posay, and stayed two nights in a château for the Pépé’s 85th birthday.  We ate at a nice restaurant, the girls swam in the pool, and asked about eight times per day “is there a real princess hidden in the château, Mama?”  Every time I answered the same way, “*you* are the princesses here today!”

We drove the six hours home from there and spent a few days cleaning up the yard, the house.  We spent the weekend du 15 aôut in the Vendée region.  MrB’s godmother has a house by the beach there, so we spent 3 nights there with their youngest daughter, son and his girlfriend.  We spent time on a sand beach, which the girls loved.  Our (very) local beaches here in Brittany are mainly galets.  

It was a beautiful, slow, enjoyable summer.  On the eve of picking back up the school week routine, after school activities, I wish we could do it all over again.  Even though I like fall, full of hot cups of tea, fires, knitting, crisp morning air… I’ll miss summer and its long evenings, apéros, and relaxed schedules.

French Husband will be back into his regular working routine the day after the réntrée, which means he will be here for the réntrée itself, then gone for the rest of the week for work.  I still am anxious thinking about potentially working since I am quite often alone with the girls during the week.  On verra, as the French say.