Three months ago, I met and stayed with my friend’s parents in their charming Parisian apartment nestled in a quiet rue in the twelfth arrondissement. I knew how lucky I was to be able to forge such a great relationship from this connection, but I didn’t realize just how much it would mean to me after returning back to my “normal life” in California.
As I sat talking, laughing, eating, and drinking with them one evening, my friend’s father, Jean Paul, clued me in on the simple fact that, with some good cheese and some good wine, life is simple.
And, really. It was so true. In those moments, that Saturday night, I felt so incredibly happy and content to just be. That was really all there was to it – good food, good drink, good conversation.
This is yet another reason why I am so drawn to the French way of living. They make the most of what they have, realizing at the same time that they don’t need a lot. I think we can get so carried away thinking that we need lots and lots of the best things to make an experience wonderful and lovely, that it ends up taking a lot of the joy out of really living and experiencing each small moment.
Last night, I delighted in something so unexpected and simple that I’m still thinking of it today. At the supermarket, I saw that there was a new installation next to the deli that was full of different cheeses. Cheeses from all over the world, including, of course, la France. It reminded me so much of a little fromagerie that I had to stop and admire the presentation and chat with the man working behind the counter.
Of course, I couldn’t leave without sweeping up a little box of Camembert and some Emmental…
This all being said, life really is so simple and wonderful when we don’t expect too much from the things we have been so conditioned to feel like we need. As Jean Paul said that Saturday evening in Paris, la vie est simple. All we truly need is good food, good drink, and some great people with whom we can share a nice laugh. C’est tout. Vraiment.