Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Almost musical. Weeping willow branches reach
downward in a decrescendo at Giverny. 
I hadn't realized what a big deal learning to drive was until my own sweet-sixteen Franco-American hybrid teenagers were behind the wheel. Suddenly the legal age to have a learner's permit seemed far too young, even if the kids had grown up with priority on the right. "Relax," my sister reasoned with me, "they can see better than we do, have quicker reflexes and they can still turn then heads." 

So, to rack up some of the 3,000 kilometers required of young learners in the French conduite accompagnée program, we'd pile into the car to make pèlerinages to Monet's gardens at Giverny, an hour's drive away--for maman to walk, pray and unwind. 

Atmosphere, atmosphere
Claude Monet (1840-1926) said, "For me, a landscape does not exist in its own right, since its appearance changes at each instant; but the surrounding atmosphere brings it to life--the light and the air which vary continually. For me, it is only the surrounding atmosphere which gives subjects their true value."

"Pour moi, un paysage n'existe pas dans son propre droit, puisque son apparence change à chaque instant, mais l'atmosphère environnante qui'l apporte à la vie--la lumière et l'air qui varient sans cesse. Pour moi, ce n'est que l'atmosphère environnante qui donne des sujets à leur juste valeur."


conduite accompagnée:  accompanied driving for learners 16 to 18 years-old; apprentice drivers must be accompanied by a designated adult licensed driver

un pèlerinage:  a pilgrimage
un paysage:  a landscape
maman:  mamma
un saule pleureur:  a weeping willow

Text & photo ©2011 P.B. Lecron


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