Eau de Vie
People ask what I miss from home, and more and more the answer is: water. Living here in a dry land where grapes and olives thrive, the absence of water is everywhere. I feel it keenly, and in the most basic ways. There just isn’t enough moisturizer in town to replenish the bodily fluids I’ve lost since we came here. Today I went down to this water, the river Gardon, catching it just after it had flowed through the Pont du Gard. It looked like a long-lost friend. The water of life.
Here in France you need to be prepared to bag your own groceries, and we have one large shopping bag that has “l’eau a besoin de l’homme pour vivre” printed on it. “Water needs man to live.” Think about it. People talk about climate change all the time here, and it’s in the newspaper almost daily. Thirst is a hot topic in this agricultural region, where a pitcher of water appears on your table almost as soon as you are seated in a restaurant. And if it doesn’t, there’s no need to ever buy expensive bottled water here in the hot, dry south. A simple “une carafe d’eau, s’il vous plait” will always be met with understanding.
But to see water running, crashing, or pooling placidly, that’s harder to find. I haven’t seen the ocean since we’ve been here, and I can feel the car keys burning a hole in my pocket. It’s a fire that no carafe d’eau can assuage. A visit to the seashore is in our future.
But for today, it’ll be a visit to the enormous supermarket, and then into the kitchen with our friend from Amsterdam. She and I are blogging about our time cooking together here today. Pour yourself a glass of something and join us.