Is your work good? Truth, Chiaroscuro, and the Creative life
A realization + Bon bout d'an in English

The Carpenter's Gift: A Christmas Story

French Village Christmas tree Sapin in France
Christmas lights in our village of  St Cyr-sur-Mer, South of France

TODAY'S WORD: le menuisier

    : carpenter

ECOUTEZ/LISTEN: hear Jean-Marc pronounce the following sentence: 
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    Le menuisier. Le menuisier a donner à Kristi un cadeau de grand signification.
    Carpenter. The carpenter gave Kristi a meaningful gift.

A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE... by Kristin Espinasse

Today, in the seaside town of La Ciotat, I received a gift from a complete stranger after I wandered into his workshop... which turned out to be an antiques store.

"What are you looking for?" he asked with a warm welcome. But there was nothing I could think of. On my way through the shop, packed with intricately-carved armoirs and gilded mirrors, I saw a cross so forgotten that it was camouflaged right into the cold stone wall--a threshold between the showroom and the carpenter shop.

"What about this?" I said. The antiques dealer plucked up the dusty crucifix which was mounted on a threadbare wooden cross.

Gazing at the worn and tattered relic, he suddenly handed it over to me. "It's been here forever. Have it, it's yours.”

The stranger's words lingered in my mind all day, throughout the chaos and the rush before Christmas. Tonight, I finally see the meaning in those last two lines, and I am so grateful for this gift and for the mystery behind it.

Sideview of the crucifix: ripped, frayed, tarnished and long-forgotten.

A Message from KristiFor twenty years now, support from readers like you has been an encouragement and a means to carve out a career in writing. If my work has touched you in any way, please consider a donation. Your gift keeps me going! Thank you very much.

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For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety