sweet morning light
I like to be awake while everyone around me is asleep. This morning I watched the sun rise, then my mother and I walked to the village square. We passed the garbage man on his tractor, practically toothless but always smiling, and exchanged a "Bonjour".
In the town square we pass a young waiter from the local restaurant and bar. His smile lights up when he sees us, our faces familiar from many summers here, and we both triple over our French to explain we are here for Christmas, or as he says, the festivities.
We step into the small patisserie and the door chimes. The same plastic containers from my childhood, filled with candy, line the shelves by the counter. The familiar desserts sit under a glass: tarte aux pommes, tarte au citron, and a hearty walnut tart I once shared with a friend. We buy two pains au raisins, one of my favourite morning pastries, and head to the bar for coffee and tea.
In the bar, the owner barely lifts his head to say hello, serious as always. He asks us, "les filles", what we would like. I may have caught half a smile when he realized he brought me an empty tea cup and no tea.
I dig into my pain au raisin with appetite, tearing the soft pastry lined with raisins, candied by a sprinkle of sugar. And then we write. We write for twenty minutes straight and empty our minds onto the page. It feels good, we have both had trouble writing but when forced the words pour out like wine.
After our morning writing session I walk my favourite country road. Frost crawls up the grass but the horses are out, and the sun is shining strongly enough to warm my path.