Thursday, July 1, 2010


The whirlwind and the wonder and the disbelief (and a computer too full with images) prompt a post denuded of both images and deep thoughts. But I am holding tight (oh so tight) to these last two days, to the gentle good will and sincere kindness of people we've come to care deeply for, to the beauty of this landscape which changed (with) us, to Eleanor's speaking French, to Iris denying that tomorrow is ever going to really happen to the end, to Oliver dreaming already of Switzerland, to habits which became unconscious, to the ease with which we said "Bonjour messieurs dames" when walking into a store, to not thinking about where we were going, to still being surprised about how to make a haircut appointment, to buying crazy cheeses that bite back, to still wanting to see Monteneuf's megaliths one more time, to imagining the number of times the terraces will fill and empty with laughter and tired travelers, to daydreaming about fall here and the quieting of Brittany, to humming Breton music, to finding the Brittany connection no matter how distant, to knowing life was good really good here, to feeling lucky, to feeling connected thanks to the gracious generosity of our benefactress Brigitte, to being witness to a history that survived history itself, to knowing this survival rode on the voices of oral tradition and the breathing of the biniou, to being in a place that carved out its own pace and place, to the Fountain of Barenton, to la Pointe du Penhir, to the Granite Coast, to the medieval streets of Nantes, to Dinan, to Quimper, to Mont-Saint-Michel, to Trebeurden... I can't name them all. I don't want any of them to slip away. And yet we move now from discovery to memory, and this, I find difficult. Once we have left, once we can start to remember (always a process of simultaneous rejoicing (we were there!) and mourning (but no longer)), there will be great comfort and inspiration. But I wanted our lunch on the island to never end, the conversation to continue, the spring to still unfurl in the garden, the discoveries to emerge, emerge, emerge... Something there was about this place that made us want to give ourselves to it (already I remember the tremulousness rather than feel it), and I think that we did. Now we will have the years ahead to find out how.


  1. I also wanted our lunch on the island never to end. Every time you've come here, the mill and the gardens seem especially alive-- and yesterday even a half-dozen new lilies opened in your honor....

    But even more than lunch, I wanted your stay in Bretagne never to end as well. Your departure today leaves a huge and unfillable hole. What a pleasure to have spent the time together that we did; to have been able to watch and listen as you allowed yourselves to be taken into the spell of this place; and to have fallen in love with your kids (and yes, Oliver, the promised recipes for the chocolate cookies and the to-die-for cake will be emailed as soon as I can figure out how to translate the measurements into "American")....

    And your blog! Your blog is simply a merveille of intelligence and curiosity and wonder and delight and intensely... intense observation. You've noted with an amazingly keen eye (and warm heart) everything that is new and old, different and similar, and you've let yourselves be touched by it all. No wonder you have made the connections here that you did, from the cheeseman at the Saturday morning marché to the two guys who live in the mill on the island of Beaufort, who will miss you enormously, and wish you all well on your journeys ahead, and who hope (vive l'espoir!) for your speedy return....

    with much love,

  2. Anne, a beautiful, beautiful have me all a puddle. You did...are doing it...and so very well. And what's more, you've shared Brittany's magic so generously with all of us through this blog.
    I'm imagining you all lingering over a lovely dinner as I write this. Holding you all so close to my heart; so many virtual hugs winging their way to you and my favorite little Bretons.