Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Z is for Zen and the art of living in France

It has been just over a year since we came here to live and the magic is still very much alive.

Granted we are blessed to be living in a particularly lovely corner of France, but even without rose tinted spectacles, the positive aspects of life here far outweigh the negatives.

Plenty of expats will spin you stories of interminable red tape and inflexible bureaucracy. A plethora of fora (or is that forums?) has sprung up, affording the disgruntled and jaded the opportunity to moan about shortcomings of the French way of life.

My feeling is that in being here we have chosen this life. Granted, we can't vote so have no power to change the status quo. But we can practise the gentle art of gratefulness. We can appreciate the slower pace of life; enjoy the finer points of French cuisine and wine; participate in the community around us.

Zen may appear to be a cop out in the search for a topic beginning with Z, but I actually believe that to benefit fully from this life in France, we must be detached from the potential frustrations and focus on the joys of the French way of life. Acceptance brings peace and in the true spirit of Zen practice, observation brings understanding.

I hope my 27 observations this month have enlightened you a little and given you a taste of this life in France.

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