Our intention when we came to France this year was to relax, adopt a French lifestyle, and live without goals or expectations. On our 7th extended trip to this beautiful country, and the third time in this particular area, we thought there wasn't much new left to do. We were surprised on all counts.
As it turned out, we experienced many things for the first time: a hot-air balloon ride for our 41st wedding anniversary, a ride on a huge mechanical elephant, and a merry-go-round that was truly fantastical. We visited zoos that are trying desperately to save endangered species and saw white lions looking healthy and content. We walked through an Oriental Garden that was peaceful and regenerating to our inner selves. Of course we learned how to make Crêpe Soufflé and taste tested quite a few during our stay. We enjoyed all those trips to the markets to search for that perfect melon and the sweetest strawberries. We did eat out at restaurants a lot, but still ate well when we prepared something at home. A trip to France is worth it for the food alone! Our schedule turned out to be full and varied, but at a relaxing pace.
When our trip was coming to a close and we had yet to find the information I was seeking about my ancestry, along came a group of people who were the answer to my prayers! Surely my Gobeil and Bilodeau ancestors played a part in leading us to their door. It's exciting to think that this story is ongoing and that we continue to write the family history, even as far away as western Canada.
Those long hours on the Air France flight back to Canada made me reflect on the rich heritage I carry. I am perfectly happy and content to spread my wings in this beautiful Canadian land while being tethered by a bond to France that extends over distance and time. Roots and Wings. It is no wonder I choose to return to France and enjoy all it has to offer, time and time again.
"There are two lasting bequests we can give our children.
One is roots. The other is wings."
~ Hodding Carter, Jr.