Wednesday, June 23, 2010

First Day of Summer

First day in the sunshine, an errand and I return home to collect my little gang to go out exploring. Four of them don shoes and hats and set out with me in excellent humor, blue skies, warm air and a new place to discover. As I was walking this morning, I crossed over a new bridge and saw, far below me, the muddy river, and steps leading down undiscovered path!

We return and are rewarded with a wide open, solid dirt path next to a swiftly running, narrow brown river, la Midouze. On either side are woods, magnificent trees such as are not often seen in this part of the country; weeping willows, poplar, oak, palm trees, palm trees? Ah, someone has planted an exotic garden in front of and behind the wall to their property, making it appear as if the trees we see along the path include ones with really big leaves and exotic fruit the size of American footballs. The children discover "fairy waterfalls" spilling out from houses and a steep, muddy bank to climb down.

Later that day we head downtown to the annual Festival of Music. Arthur, Puck and I meet up with the others; Daddy, kids, grandparents. There should be music everywhere, and there are, in fact, a few groups around the two main squares of the town and one lone musician on a corner, singing his heart out in French and English, but I am disappointed by the lack of harmony with my memories of music festivals from years ago. This is a festival I remember from Toulouse, where each street corner had a guitar or a violin and someone singing, and the squares and bars filled with groups playing. It was impossible to walk in the streets, they were full, full, full of people, all dancing, singing and enjoying the night. It is still a lovely way to greet the first day of summer and the solstice as a family. Happy summer!

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