Tuesday, March 20, 2012

it is spring!


Today is the first day of spring, and it could not be any more welcome! I woke up this morning, before just 7am, and the sun was already risen! That has not happened in months (the sun being risen that is, not waking up before 7am...) and it was glorious!

One of the mysteries of France that I have not yet understood, or even accepted for that matter, is the "volet". Basically, every window on all houses and most apartments has shutters that completely block out all light. These shutters are closed in the evening and reopened in the morning--every single day, come rain or shine. They block out all of the light from the outdoors; the sunset and the sunrise. And opening and closing them is a complete ritual in the life of all French families/homeowners.

When I was on vacation in Bretagne the other week, I stayed with a friend's parents in their very comfortable home. Every night, they would tell me how to close the volets, and every night I would tell them that I preferred the natural light, especially in the morning. It is much easier to wake up when you see a beautiful sun (and even the more common rain clouds), than seeing complete black and thinking it is still the middle of the night. They all thought I was a little crazy for not wanting to close the shutters, but I just shrugged it off as cultural differences and they would be appeased until the next night.

The best guess I can make about the volet is that the French really value privacy. Still. I will sacrifice a little bit of privacy in my attic-level apartment (that has curtains, at least) by not closing the volets, if that means I will be just a little cheerier seeing some sun in the morning.

pax christi.

No comments:

Post a Comment