Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Storms of Late Autumn

I jumped a barrier to walk along the swollen Doubs tonight.

I had hiked into town for a coffee and a croissant, to watch people and read a little. Sundays in Besancon are quiet. Not much is open, and people have been retreating indoors more as the winter is approaching. Anyway, I don't tend to need days of solitude, when I crave it. The fall rains this weekend left the city flooded, and I trudged through the wet streets and down to the river. I ignored the gate and walked by the Doubs, careful not to fall in. The moonlight reflected bright and hard off the water, the wind made my nose run, and a couple miles later, I felt like I'd gotten something out of my system. When I crave solitude, I just need an hour to be completely by myself- that's what I got. I stared up at the Citadelle for a while, wrote in my journal, and celebrated my two month anniversary in France.

Earlier this morning, I went into Vesoul, a small town near here, for the festival of St. Katherine. It was charming- it's a festival for unmarried girls, mainly. So many of the girls from my classes were wandering around in traditional costume. "'Ello, Linds-aye! 'Ow are you?" It was lovely to see them out of class and in their element. I felt like I understood this place more at that moment than I had the entire time I've been here.

Now, I'm in for the night, sipping white wine with Meredith, and in a bit I'll talk her into playing some Rummy. I love that my life here has this aspect of regularity- it's not exotic or strange. It's just France in the day to day, and it's beautiful.

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