Sitting outside on the terrace of our apartment, I am in awe that we are living in Lyon France. For all the traveling we have done, even the 6-8 week stays in other French cities last year, this time it really does feel like we live here, and we only arrived a week ago.
Chris has gone for a wander out into the city. While I am spending my afternoon, by myself on the terrace in our little village of Montchat in Lyon, reading a book set in France during another era, The Nightingale.
A sore foot has slowed me down, so we aren’t out walking across the city at the usual pace. We have been mostly staying in our little neighborhood, visiting the twice a week market and becoming familiar with the shops and restaurants.
So I am sitting on the terrace where there are sensations both new and familiar. The soft “ting” of a bicycle bell often drifts up, though not a sound frequently heard in US neighborhoods; the sound of cars as they pass on the street below or the occasional buzz of a motorcycle. Our apartment is surrounded by other buildings, mostly apartments. We are on the 3rd floor and the tallest nearby is six stories. From the patio below, I hear voices of children as they play and giggle and call to maman. Bits of conversation travel up from the sidewalk along the street, but I don’t understand what they are saying.
The sky is blue and clear, with only a few wisps of clouds. It is quite warm in the sun as the day is approaching 60 degrees. To my left in the distance, I see mountains. The trees in the area show their green shades of spring and in the planter boxes on the terrace are palm trees, bamboo, and other shrubs and herbs. As it gets too hot in the sun, I shift over to the table and chairs in the shade.
The soft chitters and chirps call attention to the fact that there are birds around. The magpies are building their nest, flying back and forth carrying twigs and then disappearing into the tall Italian Cyprus tree. Doves and pigeons fly across the sky while the little tweets rest briefly on the terrace railing as they make their rounds. Even bees have found this place, perhaps it is the sugar in my tea that calls to them.
There is no hurry, there is no rush, there is simply la joie de vie – the joy of life.