I am spending a couple of days in France to visit friends and family. My grandfather is quite poorly, and it is heartbreaking to see him like this. I hope that he will bounce back, but I am fully aware that, at 90, it might not be the case. That said, nothing seems to have changed in my small village in Provence. I have walked the same streets, seen the same shops and enjoyed the very same gorgeous light. Time has had no impact whatsoever. Or so it seems.
Pace is simply different over here. Everything is slower. It makes me look and feel like an action junkie. The thing is, I have this urge to do as many things as possible. This morning, I went to run a few errands, and met an old aunt on my way. I said ‘hello!’ and made some small talks. I came back home half an hour later. She was still there, talking to a different set of friends. She hadn’t moved one bit.
Newspapers are talking about a political earthquake with the rise of the extreme right, but everything looks the same on the surface. As in, exactly the same. What is going on? What did I miss? How come I can’t see a difference?
The only explanation I can find can be summarised in a sentence I remember reading in ‘The Little Prince’.
“On ne voit bien qu’avec le coeur”. This means “it is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye”
Maybe I should forget about the light and the beauty of this region. What I feel in my heart, right now, is an incredible sadness: because of my sick grandfather, and because my home country has gone from a land of hope to a land that is oblivious to everything it already has (health, education, peace…). Despite the British weather, I am happier in London. Incredible, right?
Muriel – A French Yummy Mummy In London