Tuesday, January 14, 2020
Just another start to the day.
Getting lighter in the mornings now. Some wispy horse tail cloud high in the sky. A sign that a cold front is on its way.
As we head out of the gate for our early walk The Rickety Old Farmhouse lit by the first rays of the morning sun. The village owls cluster on the branches of the plane trees by the gate and hoot at us in annoyance. How dare anyone disturb them ! They flutter their wings. Sophie glares back at them. Three deer wandering slowly along the lane look at us and then hurry off into the walnut grove .
We return just after eight to find a funeral going on. The mayors younger brother. They bury them quickly here. The family still in that state of mild disbelief. Their senses tell them that a loved one has gone but their emotions haven't yet registered the fact. ' All argument is against it, but all belief is for it ' as Dr. Johnson said.That rather kind and sophisticated French way of mourners saying farewell by scattering rose petals on the coffin. The ancient priest from the retirement home trotted out for the ceremony. He must be in his nineties. He has brought his guitar.
Even though it's early the kitchen in the village hall is a scene of activity as Madame Bay and her friend Renee ( pronounced Ray-knay ) open bottles of wine and slice up freshly baked quiche for a post service wake. They sang Ave Maria at the beginning of the service and then scurried over to turn the ovens on. The area around the church solid with farmers cars and vans. Some things change but French villagers, young and old, still take the time to say farewell to one of their own. That's still true in the Scottish islands but I wonder where else that courtesy holds strong.
For their second walk of the day Sophie and her master wander up the hill to the horse field. From here we can see the whole village. Church, town hall, the chateau, the water tower and the dozen or so houses that make up our small patch of paradise. Sophie has her ears scrunched and is told -as she is told every morning - that this is her home.
Just another quiet start to the day in a small French village where nothing ever happens.