“For as long as I can remember, I have had a heart for France.” – Unknown
I sincerely believe the person who wrote the words in the quote above, wrote them for me. Because, for more years than I care to remember, I have had a love of French design, and pretty much all things French. Why is this? Honestly, I cannot tell you that it is simply one thing in particular.
However, a few of the reasons I am drawn to the French culture are: Their love of family and friends, appreciation of beauty, attention to details, a respect of the past, an embrace of a beautiful style for living, an understanding that tomorrow is not promised to anyone, their enormous creativity, and a sincere devotion to their pets.
Their homes radiate magnificent charm, and their approach to decorating and entertaining clearly embodies that ‘certain something,’ or ‘je ne sais quoi.’ To me, this ‘certain something,’ is charm and a casual elegance. They seem to effortlessly turn ordinary into extraordinary ~ creating enchanting beauty. While their grand old homes provide unmatched warmth, the French understand the beauty of details. Such as in the photo below, which shows a lovely tablecloth falling to the floor. The furnishings are not elaborate. But, the stage is set to enjoy good food and celebrate those seated at the table.
The French believe one cannot improve on nature. They are, therefore, lovers of a garden, even a small garden. And, they enjoy nothing more than a simple meal shared in their gardens, around a wonderful old weathered table where many memories have been made. Treasured times. Surely, you hear the stories. I can.
Their style of living is not about wealth. It is about slowing down, taking time to notice the small things, sharing moments with those they love, and not filling every moment of every day with, ‘something.’ They understand quality as opposed to quantity in everything from food to home furnishings. They are creative, they well know new does not necessarily mean better, and they are absolutely not a ‘throw away society.’ Perhaps this style is a result of all they have endured. The brutal horrors of war ~ not once, but twice during the 20th century.
So, now you understand a bit about my love affair with France. But, I also want you to know I dearly love my great homeland. Even with our many issues, I am ever so proud to call America home. However, when we read, study and travel we learn from, and about other cultures. We grow. We grow as a nation when we inspire our fellow citizens toward the good.
I suppose one could sum it up by saying my “heart for France” is rooted in a deep respect for their people and their style of living. You see, I believe it would serve each of us well to pause a moment and take a look at our lives. Do you feel yours is passing too quickly? Gosh, I do. Sometimes I feel as though I get up in the morning, turn around, and it is time for bed. Sound familiar? But there is a sweeter way of living. For me, it begins by paying attention to details in our home, lingering over a beautiful meal, pausing to enjoy bird song ~ enjoying time to simply ‘be.’ The choice is mine and yours. Indeed, the French understand living well and have shown me an enlightened way. Perhaps they will show you, too.
” Every man has two countries – his own and France.” – Henri de Bornier
Thanks for visiting, wishing you a beautiful week !
Photos: All photos pinterest/Veranda