La France nous tend les bras. I love the expression tendre les bras, which means to open one’s arms to, to call out to, to welcome. Normally I would use it about a comfy chair that just calls out to me “here, collapse into my arms and rest,” but in this case, it’s France herself that calls to me, Soon, my darling, very soon.
But before the joyful part of the reunion there will definitely be collapsing. Moving to another country is very complicated, when one isn’t just packing it all into a container and trusting one’s cherished belongings to the open sea. In our case, because we’ll be coming back, sometime, who knows when, getting ready to go is a tortuous process of triage. Lots of things must be left behind, because the reality is that one can only take so many suitcases on the plane, and the even harsher reality is that once in Paris, one can only jockey so many suitcases onto the train heading south. But lots of things sneak into the suitcase, just one more sweater, one more book, and before you know it we’re sitting on them in the time-honored tradition of suitcase-closers since the dawn of travel. And so let me just say that the number and weight of our suitcases is challenging, unreasonable, vaguely ridiculous, not to say totally hopeless.
Therefore, quite reasonably, I anticipate a collapse occurring somewhere between Paris and Avignon. You’ll probably be able to hear it from wherever you are. It will sound like this “Holy ****, I can’t believe we brought all this **** with us!” I don’t need to translate that, right?
So the next time we speak, French Letters will have been repatriated. We’re going to be spending 5 weeks in a different part of France, not far from Toulouse, and new adventures beckon. Right after we get done collapsing we’ll be chasing them, trailing a cloud of luggage, hopes, and dreams. Au revoir, et à très bientôt.