This week in our Holy Cross course, we were required to read short texts from the notorious French writer Philippe Delerm who just so happens to be gifted in the art of writing about small pleasures in life. Reading on the beach, the joy of ordering a banana split, the smell of a croissant baking before sunrise, or the beauty of walking to the bakery on a Sunday morning: the small things in life that make everything worthwhile. In light of reading these texts, I decided to devote my week, as well as this blog to enjoying the small pleasures that we take for granted but make life worth living for. In France, it seems I have more time to appreciate these things, especially when I am already so immersed in and captivated by the beauty of the French culture. It’s true: there is something to be said about enjoying a walk to work in the morning, or taking the time during the day to appreciate the effort and creativity going into a simple meal, as well as the small encounters we have with new people each day. A new perspective on a mundane task can change our sentiments from viewing it as a chore to welcoming it as a gift. After all, what’s the point of living life if we don’t try new things, learn what we like and dislike, and continue to do what makes us happy?
I discovered from my academics this week that I have a passion for the history of wine. I know this sounds a bit overzealous, but there are so many aspects that go into the creation of wine, that I simply just want to know more. For my oral presentation, I chose to do an exposition on Pinot Gris, an Alsatian white wine which I happen to love the history just as much as the taste. Luckily, on our class field trip this week to a wine tasting, this was one of the wines that we got to sample. Even more fortunate, one of the menu selections at “Au Crocodile”, one of the best restaurants in Strasbourg, was a “grand cru” Pinot Gris. (I apologize; somehow I always end up writing about food)
My wonderful host sisters so kindly invited me to go to this French bistro this weekend to experience French cuisine or “gastronomie francaise” at its finest. This meal was comprised of 8 courses, each paired with a different type of wine, and I can honestly contest that it was the best food experience of my life. From tender goose liver to a melting praline chocolate mousse, the food was absolutely exquisite, and three hours later, I think I discovered a whole new appreciation for the art of cuisine. This type of eating, when enjoyed in good company, with no prior obligations, free of stress and worry, was just “la cerise sur le gateau” and the best way to finish my week.
So a little note to you lovely readers, I kindly encourage everyone to make this week full of gratitude, timeless, and whatever makes the soul happy. Whether this is attending a jazz concert, going for a run in the snow (it could be magical), inhaling deeply just because it feels fantastic, whipping up some poppy seed muffins only because you love the smell of them baking in the oven, enjoying a cup of tea to go along with some more tedious work at the office, or quieting the mind curled up with a great French read…and no, you don’t have to do everything that I’ve done this week because everyone is true to their own wishes . Be love, be gratitude, be you.
Ps, if you don’t hear from me in a couple weeks it’s because I will be in Amsterdam with my brother! <3
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