Saturday, August 22, 2015

Encore une fois, merci



The worn stones were cool on my bare feet as I skipped down the circular stair, hand on the iron rail. Bump, bump. Bump, bump. Ben and Kipling were lying close together on the black and white tiles at the bottom. Both looked up at me expectantly so instead of turning into the kitchen to get that glass of water, I sat down in between them and buried my head in Ben's neck while petting both of them. Having two dogs makes one ambidextrous.

At some non-verbal cue, the agreement had been made and they both started to demand their dinner by dancing around me, Ben crying out his woeful "Woowoo"'s and doing the slow tail wag. Kipling kept slipping his head under the crook of my elbow to flip it up then tickling the back of my neck with his whiskers. I squealed into giggles and finally gave in.

When they heard the magic word, "Ok" we all scooted out into the courtyard - Ben clearing the three steps down in one joyful leap and then twirling, twirling while I gathered up their plastic food bowls. I sat back on the front steps after feeding them and looked up at the sky. Blue, soft with whispered clouds. Within a minute, they were finished and Kipling, our rescue dog, had come over to say his thank you as he always does. Clearly, he doesn't take being fed as a given. Ben sat down next to me, upright proud and again I was surrounded with a simple solid love.

All was quiet. One of the neighbor kids whizzed past our gate on a trotinette, just as the breeze kicked up and flirted with the tumbles of grapes that we are going to need to harvest soon. In the distance, I could hear one of the village's pair of doves calling to the other patiently.

And then I remembered that today should not have been this idyllic Saturday but rather could have been a day of unending tears, of international mourning, of families desiccated and the asking of bitter "why?"s.  Just as it was last January here in France and has been all too often everywhere as of late. Our world is so precarious and often we are wrapped tight in one fear or the next. Not so for the brave young Americans - US Air Force member Spencer Stone, National Guardsmen Alex Skarlatos and student Anthony Sadler on his first trip to Europe - as well as 62 year old British consultant Chris Norman and the as yet unidentified French Rail employee who was the first to try and subdue the terrorist on yesterday's TGV to Paris.

Gentlemen, you are heros. And while you have already been lauded and thanked by fellow survivors on the train to Presidents Hollande and Obama, I won't take this moment of peace for granted but will say encore une fois merci, this time from me. I thank you with all of my heart.







This was not at all the post that was planned for today but I couldn't quite write about some fun address here in Provence. Thank you for understanding and have a wonderful rest of your weekend...
Heather

16 comments:

Janey and Co. said...

Hi Heather,

Yes, it was nice to read about such an encounter that ended happily for once. Hopefully it will send a message that we will are not going to sit quietly by, while you commit your acts of terrorism.
Love your doggies.....Janey

Joan McKniff said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sally said...

This is a lovely post. Lovely to hear about a quiet sweet moment with you and your dogs and lovely to pay tribute to the brave men who contained and disarmed the terrorist. I'm stunned that this happened--two or maybe three years ago my husband were on that very train. You never know...

Bill Facker said...

A gunman demanding blood .. two puppies demanding love .. and the balance of this delicate existence demanding unwavering attention .....

Merci, Heather, for stimulating our grey matter.

Aloha,
Bill

www.kauai-to-paris.com

Unknown said...

I do understand and add my own heartfelt merci to Messrs. Stone, Skarlatos, Sadler and Norman and the unidentified French Rail employee. It is important to acknowledge and respond to the horrifying as well as the lovely aspects of the world around us. Regarding the latter, thank you for recounting your beautiful around-the-house interactions with the magnificent Ben and Kipling...and give them each and both a tummy rub for me. Sharing your household's circle of love and gratitude with us is a priceless gift. Fondly, Leslie in Oregon

Unknown said...

In tangential response to your last sentence, it bears emphasizing that although one has that very specific right under the U.S. Constitution, the heroes in this instance were able to protect themselves and others even though they were not armed (and were in a country in which they most likely did not have the right to carry a firearm in that situation). Leslie in Oregon

Unknown said...

Well put and an important reminder, Bill. Thank you, Leslie in Oregon

Joan McKniff said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rowan said...

Heather,
Thanks for your post! We can always rely on you to be one who gives gratitude for heroism and human kindness and not letting them pass, unacknowledged.
Ben and Kipling know how to motivate you towards the food cupboard! My boy just looks me straight in the eye, or if I'm at the computer, he comes and puts a wet nose under my arm and shoves a couple of times gently and then skips excitedly over and stands in front of the pantry, where his dry food is kept. I know who is the boss!
Cheers,
Deborah - Melbourne, Australia

Jackie and Joel Smith said...

We can never say thank you enough to those who perform such selfless acts of heroism. It is difficult to write posts that were planned when tragedy is striking as with our wildfires sweeping across Washington State or the terrorist-with-intent-to-kill is aboard a train in France.

Loree said...

I am not sure what the world is coming to. It seems like nowhere's safe and yet, we cannot live in fear all the time. But it seems that the age of innocence it long past. I wish we could fix things but sometimes I think that we have all gone beyond that. A very timely post Heather with beautiful photos, as always.

Maywyn Studio said...

Beautiful heart post

RebeccaNYC said...

Thank you for always having the right words. xo

Tracy Wood said...

Thank you for this post. As always, your comments were perfect, it's so important to acknowledge the actions of heroes. How lucky was everyone in that carriage?
Lovely to see the boys, what is it that you give them for dinner? The contentment after feeding is always wonderful to see. xxTracy

Karena Albert said...

Beautifully said Heather, a time to appreciate one another with love and kindness!

xoxo
Karena
The Arts by Karena
Artist Alex Katz

simpleimages2 said...

A day to pause for moments of gratitude.Heroism comes unexpectedly without much thinking-sacrificing one’s life for others.

The stars shine in the heavens. “I thank you with all of my heart.”