Already I miss the farmhouses, unpretentious clothing hanging on clotheslines under the sun, strolling through the town square full of daydreams and sleeping under the slanted ceiling of the attic in my house.
The last week was full of visitors. Our ancient home was filled with women, friends of my mothers and a friend of mine. We ate like queens, drank like kings, laughed like fools and praised every breath of country air.
We had lunch in an old chateau to celebrate our friend's 80th birthday, where we feasted on country food and local wine, toasting our glasses to one of the most youthful 80-year-olds on this planet.
My friend Nettika took her camera everywhere, and earned all of our admiration for her talent in photography. But she impressed me with more than her photos. She is a lush for life, a lover of beauty, and is able to eat an astounding amount of chocolate for such a tiny person. Every time she groaned over a decadent dessert I loved her a little bit more.
This morning we packed up our house, said goodbye to our guests, and climbed aboard the train to Paris.
As the train whipped its way through the countryside, we ate hard boiled eggs, unctuous cheese, peaches and crackers. The five hour train ride was a good way to say goodbye to the soft landscape before arriving in the city.
The train pulled into Paris Montparnasse when day turned to night. Back in the city that stole my heart a year ago, I feel at home, anxious to spend more time in its glow. Even when my mother and I dragged our suitcases up five flights of stairs to my friend's apartment, I sighed contently, because that's just Paris.
In a few days we fly home, full of wine, croissants and stories. For now, the adventure continues.