le scrutin


A village home near the medieval quarter of Les Arcs-sur-Argens.

remonter (ruh-mohn-tay) verb
  to go, take up again; to climb up again

                        *     *     *
Pour remonter à la source, il faut nager à contre-courant.
To reach the source, one has to swim upstream.
--Stanislaw Jerzy Lec

Along the main drag in Les Arcs-sur-Argens, prude iron fences cover themselves up in springtime with thick coats of roses and the old Hôtel Charles hides like a Peeping Tom behind a wall of wisteria. The flowers make for a sweet-scented morning shuttle and I roll down my window to let the fragrance wash over us. It is 7:45 and I've dropped off my first child at school. That leaves my daughter with me in the car and she is full of questions at the start of the day.

"Maman,"* my nine-year-old begins, "how do you say 'remonter'?"
"Let me think," I reply, distracted by traffic. "To climb up!" I offer.

"Maman," Jackie continues from the back seat, "will you please 'climb up' your window? I'm cold."
"Oh...sure, sweetie," I giggle, rolling up the glass.

As I drive, I think about collecting some of those roses, a bit of that wisteria, and putting it all in a vase for a bit of cheer.

My daughter clears her throat.
"Mommy, do they make chocolate toothpaste without sugar in America?" Jackie wonders. Qui sait?* I don't know about chocolate toothpaste, with or without sugar, but can now guess at the secret for "climbing up" one's mood* and it doesn't involve clipping my way through anyone's garden: just breathe in a little springtime and listen to a child's wonder.

References: la maman (f) = mom; qui sait? = who knows; "climb up" one's mood (the French say "remonter le moral" for "to cheer up")

Related Terms & Expressions:
  remonter ses chaussettes = to pull up one's socks
  remonter une montre, une horloge = to wind up a watch, clock
  se remonter le moral = to lift one's spirits
  remonter à = to date back to
  remonter à cheval = to remount, to get back on one's horse
  se remonter = to recover one's strength, one's spirits
  remonter sur les planches = to go back on the stage
  remonter les bretelles à quelqu'un =to give somebody a piece of one's mind (or a real tongue-lashing)

:: Audio File ::
Hear Jean-Marc recite today's quote: Download remonter.wav
Pour remonter à la source, il faut nager à contre-courant.

In Shop:
Well, it isn't chocolate toothpaste, but it is French and I like it!
Rosetta Stone French (CD-ROM) -- "an award-winning method used by NASA and the Peace Corps"
For spring cleaning (and French scenting...)

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