“Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.”- author unknown
Sometimes, amidst all the routine chaos of school and extracurriculars and learning new languages, it’s the little things that make you feel like you’ve got your life together. This week was full of little things that made me feel like I truly belong here, creating a center of calm in the storm that is junior year.
Speaking of calm, there’s nothing quite like running in the rain to chase away the normal Monday blues. Monday was a national holiday as the French honored its veterans on Armistice Day. It was interesting to see the greater amount of attention given to the 11th of November here including all day long television specials, a parade in most cities and a day off from work for all of Rennes. Having this day to recharge and regroup after the influx of work last week, was very welcome.
On my return to school I was greeted by a large box swaddled in masking tape. Christmas must have come early this year! Complete with chai, Halloween candy, warm clothes and more, getting this lovely package reminded me of home, in a good way (ok fine, a small wave of homesickness may have washed over me).
In this week’s installment of cooking with Mme. P, we learned how to make macaroons and orange duck. The macaroons were surprisingly easy and amazingly delicious. That’s one recipe I’m going to learn by heart ASAP. 😀 And as if that wasn’t French enough, I spent my day in the black wedges that came in my care package. Sacrificing comfort for style seems to often be the norm here and I was happy to grin and bear it like the French for one day at least (that’s all my poor feet could take for the week!)
Finally, as last week marked the end of the first quarter, this week we received our grades and the whole school seemed to have burst into flames. I was a little stunned that something so resembling normal school life was staring me straight in the face confirming that sadly quizzes, tests, and quarter reports don’t somehow get magically left behind when you go study abroad *cue collective sigh*. But for me, getting my grades made me feel like I’d really settled into a good groove and kind of affirmed that I’ve gotten the hang of things (more or less).
It’s just proof that life goes on regardless of the fact that you’ve gone and switched countries. Some things change and some things never will. To top it all off, I’ve had galettes twice this week . Look at me, I feel so Briton. 🙂
By the end of the week, temperatures had dipped severely. One of the good things that came out of staying out at night and freezing half to death was this optical illusion opportunity (below).
” Au calme clair de lune triste et beau,
Qui fait rêver les oiseaux dans les arbres…”
Paul Verlaine (Clair De Lune)