I delight in watching the sun rays lose their aggressiveness, and grow soft filtered through the persienne shutters and the lace curtains, casting delicate shadows on the tiled floors.
There I am relaxing in my grand mother’s kitchen, which is the gathering place for the whole family. We always stay in this room together. We sit around the table and have the most trivial, the most important – and sometimes the most explosive – chats there. It is also my favorite place to have a read in the afternoon, while the whole house is asleep. This is no myth. The WHOLE HOUSE goes to bed around 1:30 PM – after having ingested a very, very, VERY rich lunch – then it all goes quiet. You can hear the clock ticking for an hour or two, and feel time slip by, as its mechanics count the seconds until the human dwellers all softly come back to life.
I don’t join in the fun, because when I do, I just don’t sleep at night. On many accounts, I would not qualify as your typical French woman anyway. The first time I drank wine was when I was an exchange student in England. I had never even been tempted by that dubious, dark red liquid before. Same thing for cheese. I realised how good it was in France only when I left my home country, tried some cheap student cheddar in the UK, and disliked it so very much, it gave me a whole new appreciation for what I had back home.
That said – I cherish my lone afternoon moments. It gives me a nice break from all the family excitement. A chance to clear my head and read in the comfort of this cocoon. Traditional houses here have such thick stone walls that they keep the heat at bay. Thus the air remains nice and fresh inside – provided you don’t leave the doors wide open during lunch time. I sit there in the quiet. My back against the wall, feet extended on to another chair, my eyes riveted to the stories and imaginary worlds I wander in, with the occasional look up to the opening to the world through the glass doors in front of me.
What I treasure the most about the afternoon in my Mamie’s kitchen is the lush summer light that fills up the room. I delight in watching the sun rays lose their aggressiveness, and grow soft filtered through the persienne shutters and the lace curtains, casting delicate shadows on the tiled floors. The susurrating whispers of the ever-blowing winds through the foliage and the flickering color of the leaves, from dark to light, translucent green, always add the most delicious, almost theatrical touch to this perennial place.
Featured image: Close up on the window. (iPhone 5S, HDR, no filter)
Below: A view of the lush summer light filtering through the curtains, shutters and windows in my grandma’s house, captured with an iPhone 5S, HDR Settings, chrome filter on August 1st, 2017, in Oze, France.