I have spent the weekend in the countryside with the Pernots, my first time in Burgundy. Their country home is perfect, exactly what we all imagine when we think of rural France. Steep roofs with terra cotta shingles, think stone walls covered in ivy, and bright red doors and shutters. Inside there are low stone doorways, exposed wooden beams across the ceilings, smooth brick floors, and old style beds hung in light draperies. The grounds are enclosed by a low stone wall and contain an impressive garden with flowers, fruits, and vegetables, and all throughout there are plum, apple, and pear trees. For lunch we dined almost solely on the things grown within sight of the kitchen, before spending the afternoon biking throughout the surrounding farms. The vegetables were actually gathered in this basket and did, in reality look as perfect as they do here.
For dinner, we visited neighbors. Another perfectly picturesque kitchen and perfect meal as well as fast banter around the table beginning with numerous discourses on gardening. But what really strikes me is the hospitality of the people here. I think we often do the French a disservice when we think of them. The pace of life is slower here, the process of forming friendships more gradual, but relationships go deep, and are strong. It is a beautiful hospitality, not birthed from bubbling kindness as ours is, but from a quiet deep reverence for relationships, friends, and family.
The following day was a special day. Every so often, there are shooting days, were all the old men of the town gather around and shoot skeet all afternoon. It is loosely a competition, with the mayor in charge of launching the skeets In reality, they shoot approximately every 45 minutes, and in between, visit, drink, and occasionally sing rousing French songs. C’est la vie.