from coffee and donuts to wine and cigarettes
After two flights, many delays, and a lot of mediocre food, I arrived at the Toulouse airport to a smiling mother.
This country, which once seemed so foreign, now feels like another home.
We drove through the old country roads in our small French car into the village that has become my sanctuary.
The moment I walked into the kitchen of our house I felt my heart sing inside my chest. It was the smell of the old wood, the sight of plums from the field down the road, bottles of local wine and small packaged madeleines. This room, and this house, holds some of my happiest memories.
That night I slept deeply. The next day we went to a nearby city, wandered through beautiful boutiques, and returned home so I could prepare a feast.
We invited a friend for dinner, drank wine, ate a giant salade nicoise, steamed beets, roasted vegetables and curried deviled eggs. We finished off with a cheese platter, and I licked pungent blue cheese off of my fingers.
Our bellies full we went to a concert in a nearby village. An old friend and an old lover set up their stage outside and sang in English and French. We sat on benches, drank cheap wine, smoked cigarettes, and kissed the cheeks of those around us.
It was a long night of singing and dancing, with a party afterwards in a country home down the road. I made the mistake of trying to keep up with the drinking of those around me, and paid the price the morning after.
I'm still settling and finding my place here again. It will take a few more long walks, late night conversations and good meals until I'll be completely at ease with my French country self.
Until then, la vie est belle, and I'm just remembering how to enjoy it to fullest.