Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Winter at 'Le Petit Lapin'

Christmas decorations in the snow
It's still winter in Brittany this morning: the fog is rising from the valley and the lake is covered in a thin film of ice, but there will soon be signs of spring everywhere.
There was a rare snow storm at Christmas time-- that big blizzard that hit all of Europe transformed Sains into a white wonderland for a few extremely chilly days-- but everyone managed to make it home for the holiday. Our four children arrived from England, Italy and Paris by car, ferry, train and plane, reminding me once again how well connected Brittany is to the rest of the world.  I never feel cut off here, but I am more often aware of the rural calm, the self-sufficient little villages, the natural drama of the sea and the importance of the seasons in shaping the lives of those who are lucky enough to live in this beautiful part of France.
These quiet weeks between Christmas and Valentine's Day are very precious to me: I spend the mornings indoors at my desk writing (I have a book coming out in September) and in the afternoon I often manage a  walk to the lake in the bracing air that is particularly invigorating at this time of year. By Valentine's Day, there will be crocuses in the garden and visitors once more at 'Le Petit Lapin': I'll be welcoming an English couple on 12 February, my first guests of 2011.
A duck on the pond, waiting for spring...