Sanity Savers 6: Thank you’s

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This gentleman and a colleague sail up and down the Bassin de la Villette, scooping up people’s trash and other debris that blows into the water. It’s a big job.

Here they are in action on a cold, dark, cloudy day….dsc03236

Thank you!!!

xxxxx  Aliss

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I won’t stop believing (November 9th)

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Since I saw the swan on Friday, trying to find words for how I feel.
It’s been quite a year, many challenges in my life and around me, too many to count: terrorism, violent demonstrations, floods, refugee crisis, family issues, and now the US presidential election… Trying to stay up to date, reeling from toxic news overdose, head down, walking in cold rain, not looking for a sign, I lifted my eyes at the right moment and there it was, a white swan, first in almost a year,* pure beauty and grace, life, resilience. Took my breath away, filled me with joy. The only way I can describe my feeling is “something happening in the Force”… but not a “disturbance”… so what is the opposite of disturbance? Smoothing of the force? Harmony in the force? Light in the force?
That day, someone added me to a private FB group called Pantsuit Nation, carrying positive information about the election that ballooned from a few people lightening up with pantsuits, to three million in a matter of days, a community of thought, a fabric of kindred spirits, shining like beads of light woven together in space.
Suddenly there was a refuge to share our stories, dreams, courage, determination, love, inspirations, tolerance. Millions people opening up, laughing and crying together, trading experiences and pictures. An antidote to the poisonous headlines.
There are millions of good people out there with energy for the future.
The days are darker as we move towards the winter solstice and the rebirth of Light. I won’t stop believing.
*
dsc03043Since Paris implemented a Biodiversity  Program several years ago, stopped using pesticides, and began creating Green and Blue corridors for wildlife, a pair of swans settled on the canal and raised 6 cygnets every year. Last January we found one of the adults sick or wounded on an embankment and it was taken to the vet school for treatment. Never heard anything more about it but the flock disappeared completely. Until Friday…

Meanwhile in Normandy

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Feeling fortunate to be in Normandy: more and more in love with swans, a wish come true to see a female nestling with her tiny new born cygnet

Paris is having a hard time: floods, antigovernment demonstrations and strikes, vandals roaming the streets. Friends of friends invited us to this paradise, a “teaching farm” near Ouville l’Abbaye, in northern Normandy about 30 minutes from the English Channel. If you are nearby, contact the gracious owners, Antoine and Brigitte Vandecandelaere and plan a visit:

www.lafermeaufildessaisons.fr

IMG_0636The house…

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Linen museum and farm shop: delicious local eggs, cheeses, garden vegetables, apples, apple juice, cider, pâtés, bread, pastries, handmade flaxseed oil soaps, bread, potatoes…a feast at your fingertips, plus linen scarves and socks…

IMG_0634Traditional brick and flint buildings + chickens, turkeys, geese, ducks, peacocks, pigs, rabbits, orchards, meadows…

IMG_0633donkeys to pat and ride…

IMG_0639“Unique,” a white percheron who loves to roll in the mud…IMG_0637Flax (linen) crop and grains…

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Cliffs at nearby Veules-les-Roses…

IMG_0629Delicious lunch, lovely service and a ray of sunshine at “Comme à la Maison”…

http://www.veules-les-roses.fr/adresse/adresse.php?val=58_comme+maison

Of course, this is not where you wanted to be 70 years ago. The regional capital, Yvetot, was completely razed by the Nazis and rebuilt after the war. You can measure the destruction by the difference in architectural style between the old and the new…

Blessings to all those who gave their lives on D-Day, before and after, soldiers and civilians…

Thank you everyone for checking in so often although I haven’t had time to post very much recently. it has been a very full month, lots to catch up on… To be continued xxxx Aliss