Today's metaphor involves a bowling ball. With no such picture in my photo archives, I offer a not-so-close second: la balle de golf. (In the photo--taken in 2005, near Bandol--our daughter, then 8 years-old, seems to be imitating me. In reality, she's getting ready to roll down the grassy hill. Don't worry about the ball, it won't reach her. I won't even be able to hit it off the tee).
Beautifully renovated and decorated home in the Luberon. 4 bedrooms and a study with a sofa bed, each with ensuite (full) bath. This villa comfortably sleeps 7-9 adults.
A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE... BY KRISTIN ESPINASSE
There is an encouraging dicton in French that promises: La nuit porte conseil ("night brings counsel"). Turning over in bed, I stared out the window--searching for the answer. There were several problems, but I began to sense one solution that would solve every single souci!
Like the bowling ball that knocks down all 10 pins, all I needed to do was to roll out of bed and continue in a straight line, on target! Action brings reward, and no sooner did I push back the bed covers when I heard barking on the horizon. The first pin was about to tumble! It seemed our missing dogs were back from their latest fugue. But I would need to catch them before they dashed off again.
I tied on my shoes and shot up the path behind our house, where Jean-Marc was watering his newly-planted grapevines. (If my husband wasn't chasing down our dogs the moment they appeared, it is because I have more luck coaxing Braise and Smokey back home.)
"They ran that way," Jean-Marc said, pointing his hose toward the woods. My husband's words ricocheted across the vine row, which may as well have been a line of deadpans--if such a variety of grapes existed. Of course it didn't, but there was no mistaking the emptiness in his voice. Obviously he was still smarting.
I paused in my tracks, feeling all the weight of my metaphoric bowling ball. And then I remembered: Just keep rolling. I'll eventually get to that pin: first the dog pin, then the husband pin!
I continued on, direction les chiens! Halfway up the forest path, my husband shouted: "If you want to find the dogs, I told you they went that way!"
Whereas my husband's voice had been empty, this time he seemed annoyed. Oh boy. We had a ways to go before patching things up again! Even as I ran toward the dogs, I was recalculating just how long it would now take to reach the husband pin, having understood his distance!
No number appeared--for it was impossible to estimate how many minutes, hours, or days until I would reach the husband pin. I raced into the woods, reaching our two smiley golden retrievers. Amazing how well off they always are, just when I think they've been run over by the nearby TGV!
Gripping one dog collar in each hand, I turned toward home, fully intent on rolling right on past the grumbling husband pin. Forget him! Only, owing to the uneven terrain of the vineyard, and the dogs---which yanked me left and right--this prideful bride was delivered right to her husband's side!
(Around about here my bowling metaphor has lost steam, so we've thrown in a stubborn bride to keep things alive and kicking!)
The dogs paused as I came face to face with my husband and, looking at him, as if in a mirror, I recognized something: myself. That's when the number came to me. Zero. In no time at all we could make up--if we would just see the other's pain and feel compassion.
"Thank you," I mumbled, motioning to the found dogs. It was all I could manage before Braise and Smokey yanked me away, to the left, to the right--all the way down the path towards home.
When I got there I moved the bouquet of wilting wildflowers inside. They had sat outside in a bucket for two days--ever since my husband collected them for me, apologetically. It was time to accept them. Time to protect them.
le dicton = saying
le souci = worry
la fugue = running away
le chien = dog
le TGV = Train à Grande Vitesse, high-speed train
New rental in Provence. In the charming village of Sablet--this spacious home is the perfect place to return to after sightseeing, bicycling or hiking.
You should have seen these 3 or 4 days ago! The wild gladiolas have withered, but the flowers are still in good shape. Can you name some of them? Jean-Marc tells me that every specimen was taken from the field where he just planted his baby vines. In the background you can see Mom's painting of Jean-Marc's wine. And that's Jean-Marc's grandfather's couch. The neat thing about this old canapé, is the way the arms fold down. Jean-Marc's grandfather napped there, and JM likes to rest here too.
Thank you for considering a contribution today!
Ongoing support from readers like you keeps me writing and improving this free language journal, for the past 18 years. If you enjoy this website and would like to keep it going, please know your donation towards this effort makes all the difference! No matter the weather, on good days or bad, I am committed to sharing a sunny, vocabulary-packed update with you, one you can look forward to. I hope it fuels your dreams of coming to France while expanding your French vocabulary. A contribution by check or via PayPal (or credit card, links below) is greatly appreciated. Merci!