So… what did you think of the special friend yesterday? Pretty neat huh?! Did you catch the video of it answering Timo’s call? That’s quite a cry!
Today, I want to back away from specifics and focus on the overall setting, before telling you, tomorrow, about some special family time. Grab a cup of tea or coffee (if it’s not already done) and prepare to relax!
(This is part 4 of a 5-part series on how God gives us not only ministry-related blessings when we’re serving him, but how he goes over and above; blessing us on a personal level as well. If you’re just joining the series today, I suggest you check out part 1 after finishing here, then move through posts #2 & #3 as well, to get the most complete picture.)
Though I was an English major early on, bucolic wasn’t a word that just rolled off my tongue and I’m not sure when I first started using it, but it’s the perfect word to describe the setting of our little, borrowed, French farm.
1. relating to the pleasant aspects of the countryside and country life.
Go ahead… use it. It’s a great word!
Now let me tell you why it’s so fitting. Here are…
1: Location, location, location!
Châtellerault (where we live) is a small city of roughly 37K people, so already, life is quiet. The village where the farm is located however, roughly 30 min from Châtellerault, has a population of less than 600.
Surrounded by fields of sunflowers and recently bailed straw, there is a bakery, a post office and a news-stand, but no grocery store. The biggest thing in town is the mother house for the Catholic order of the Daughters of the Cross. Needless to say… life is quiet (except for the peacock) …and quiet refreshes the soul.
That is always welcome!
2: Wire-less living…
Out in the yard, I might get enough cell signal to make a call or receive a simple text message but nothing more. I had zero data availability, so sending or posting photos was nigh unto impossible. Inside the guest house, given the thickness of the stone walls, not even phone service was possible.
Given the frustration associated with trying to make technology work, I did one of the most liberating things that you can do in our hyper-connected world… I either left the phone in the guest house or I kept it on airplane mode so I could take photos but couldn’t try to use it and wind up frustrated.
For Timo this meant that rather than being tied to a device, he found himself with the dogs or between the scrap woodpile and the workshop where tools allowed him to carve himself out two miniature rubiks cubes and a couple of plaques.
It was nice to see… nice to experience!
3: Animals & Elements
The ability to be sitting and have a couple sheep or a peacock wander by, or to randomly hear the goats bleat, the donkey bray or the hens cluck is a very calming to me. It’s a connection to a bygone way of life and to nature that is fast disappearing for a large swath of society.
Similarly, looking at the building materials used, they are more than just that… they connect you physically to a time before mass production when someone was hewing out rectangular stone blocks and baking clay tiles … then collecting rainwater in large wooden barrels so as not to lose such a precious commodity.
Perhaps I’m romanticizing the past but either way, it’s once again a question of being connected to a simpler, more rugged and more durable time with fewer trappings of modernity.
4: The Hammock in the Grove
On the other side of the duck pond, in the poplar grove, is a large Colombian hammock (big enough for at least 3… pics tomorrow). During the heat of the day, the tall trees gave permanent shade, driving the temperature down by at least 7-10 degrees and making it the perfect spot to read, talk or even nap. I’ll admit it… I did all three.
Ironically, the owner said he didn’t always like it down there because it was too noisy… with the wind rustling the leaves on the trees. I guess it’s really all very relative: Not only did we not find it intrusive… it was like a calming & welcome lullaby.
5: The Pool
OK… besides electricity & indoor plumbing, there was one “trapping of modernity” that I was glad to have… the swimming pool.
I used it twice, just enough to cool off & hop back into the shade (am I becoming fuddy-duddy?). The boys, on the other hand, spent a lot of time there and enjoyed everything about it except the flies (where there are horses… there will be flies – can flies be considered bucolic?).
On our first visit, when it was just Timo & I, we went out before it got too hot and while he swam, I enjoyed morning coffee while reading my Bible.
It’s a blessing to be able to start the day like that!
Remember the definition of Bucolic? “the pleasant aspects of the countryside and country life”.
The older I get the more I am recharged by quiet and drained by noise, confusion & constantly being with or around people… an atmosphere I used to more or less thrive in. Now, I need those breaks of quiet and this was certainly such a break… it was an over and above blessing that I appreciate and thank the Lord for.
Click here for the last part of this mini-series where I’ll tell you how the quiet break made for some important family time as well. In the mean time, what do you think, is bucolic an appropriate word for our little borrowed farm?
God bless you today & see you tomorrow!
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