We spent half an hour running in and out of these stumps on the sprawling lawn of the Chateau Ste. Fargeau. I could have done it for an hour. Running comes so naturally to children. Why do we stop running everywhere we go when we become adults? I'll admit, I sometimes employ the child's method of mobility, running from place to place, from downstairs to up, sprinting from the kitchen to the bathroom, or from the yard into the house. It feels good, but I know I couldn't keep it up if anyone were watching me. Why is running only appropriate for little people?
And what about skipping. I once dared my brother, the only person in our family with the kind of job you have to wear a tie for, to skip back to work in our busy little town after his lunch break. He was tempted, but in the end, he chickened out.
Esther is a good runner. When we race I have a hard time staying in front. Letting her win is not even a consideration. I just have to concentrate on not letting her dust me.
These people aren't going anywhere. Why would they?
My favorite room of this house. The fact that we do not have a couch, or a single comfortable chair-- the kind with a high back that takes a load off your entire body, not just your feet-- makes my bed the only option for relaxing. When I pull those windows open and lie down, my worries float out and the world floats in. It's a peaceful world. I hear bits of gossip from the birds. And sometimes I hear them flirting or teasing each other. And the trees read the sky for me. Their soft swaying trunks and all those leaves, which dance and flutter in the warm breeze, tell me a more encouraging story than those that rattled, and shivered in the biting winter wind.
When the wind blows across the barley, making it ripple and roll, it is no longer earth, but sea.
If it weren't for horses. These fuzzy wuzzy creatures have helped Esther, immensely, to adapt to this foreign culture. They don't care what language she speaks,they trust her and she trusts them. The confidence that she has gained in herself by caring for, sitting atop at a walk, trot and gallop, and even steering these beautiful horses over jumps is impossible to measure. It's hers and hers alone. As scary as it is, I love watching her jump. I love how she gets temporarily off center when her horse leaves the ground, and then, instinctually, shifts her weight, keeps her eyes ahead, and rights herself. All by herself. Under her own power. I can't do it for her. And that is what makes it so wonderful.
It was Mother's Day in France a few weekends back. (La Fete des Meres). Esther and Ian and Isla picked me these roses from a bush that grows up our front stoop. They were breathtaking and powerfully fragrant. They came with a hand-drawn card from Esther with a picture of a mama sea turtle with a baby sea turtle on her back. I'll scan it soon and put it up here.
Isla loves cruising the streets of Vermenton while Esther is at art class. She goes so fast now I have to run full speed to keep up with her. A trike session with Isla is like an extreme sport. We are so ready to ditch the training wheels.
if you will,
an entire building
filled with old bones.
Isla heading up to the fossil floor at the Natural History Museum in Paris. (Muséum nationale d'Histoire naturelle) in the Jardin des Plantes.
Glace at the Café Rodin. It's important to make a meal out of ice cream when it costs more than $10.
Esther went wild with my camera in the Musée Rodin. This shot above is a super close up of the lovers (The Kiss) you saw a few shots back. I like the way she got the sun sneaking through the gap between their sucking faces.
"I like Rodin because he is like me," she said. "He uses a lot of detail in his art."
And there is nothing more rewarding than exposing Esther to fine art. She is so appreciative, so mature in her examination of every piece. So grownup in her comments: "I love the way that woman's face is so true." It's impossible not to be inspired and wonder how any human being can become bored, or complacent, in a world that is so filled with beauty and passion.
More stuff to read over here, and here.