Our visitors have been and gone. They left a glorious week of sunshine and blue skies in their rural homeland of Cornwall to share a glorious week of rain and grey skies with us and our animals in the rural holidayland of Middle France. Typical! But despite the less than perfect holiday weather, I’m pretty sure they had a nice time. Luckily, they are the sort of laid back, cat-loving, bird-watching, people-avoiding sort of people who are more interested in cats, birds and people-avoidance than sun-bathing. Also, luckily for us, they wanted to explore the unspectacular but rather lovely places to be found within a short drive of our home, which meant that we also got to spend much of the week doing holiday-like visits to pretty little nearby towns and riverside nature reserves. We have seen (and appreciated) more of where we live in the last week than we have in the last year.
The upshot of this experience is that I have decided to reinstate The Weekend in the busy lives of the farmers of Blanchetière. No longer will we spend day after every day toiling away at the stuff of our happy but somewhat repetitive lives. We will have a Day (or two) of Rest each week, when we will GO OUT and SEE THINGS. We will go bird-watching in the Val d’Allier. We will follow the way-marked walks around the Bocage and its insignificant but adorable villages. We will visit castles and gardens and lakes. And we will re-discover the France that was once the France of our holidays and dreams, and that led us to be living in the France of our everyday lives, where somehow the magic gets buried under the daily dust of ordinariness that tinges even the most beautiful of locations with the greyness of the commonplace.
It is just too easy to take what we have for granted and to forget how lucky we are to be really-and-truly-and-actually living in this lovely place, where other people choose to come for a holiday. Just as it is all too easy to take Life itself for granted, and not appreciate how lucky we are to be really-and-truly-and-actually living at all.
We are all visitors to this time, this place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love… and then we return home.
Australian Aboriginal Proverb