“Why would you take my picture today? I look old, and my hair is horrible,” she counters as she absent-mindedly touches her head.
I watch her crystal-clear eyes follow me as I reach for my camera, and she steadies herself. I relax my arm and give her space.
“Marie-Christine, you are beautiful. As always. Your skin is stunning, and your eyes are sparkling.”
I do not lie to her. Her complexion reminds me of my grandmother’s, and instantly my heart tugs at my eyes, threatening tears. It’s soft, translucent, pink and blue, a porcelain beauty with age, experience, and life still to live.
Our conversation ebbs into Saint-Malo. Marie-Christine knows I own a house in Bretagne, and we have this connection. Her family moved from Brittany to Paris in the early twenties. She claims that her father helped build the sea wall that protects Saint-Malo from the enormous tidal surges and waves.
“I used to play a game with my mother!” Marie-Christine brightens at the memory. She is instantly taller, mentally reenacting her death-defying story. “I would go up a chemin (alley) in Paramé and wait for the waves to come crashing against a sea wall and try to outrun it.”
She is braver than I take her for, as these waves can be as tall as the Belle Époque villas that are battered during a storm. The attraction is at its peak during the full moon or the new moon. The tidal coefficients usually exceed 100. The tides are even stronger every six months near each equinox (March-April and September-October).
We talk of things Breizh and all that isn’t Paris. Galette saucisse. The old carved rocks. The gardens of our favorite island. Moules frites and the bays we all wander. L’hermine. Little villages that remain lost these days only to the locals who still wander them.
I chuff a bit and pack up my camera.
“Next time, tell me when you want to take my photo, Shannon.” She scolds me as my grandmother did. “I will do my hair next time.”
#saintmalo #breizh #breizhpower #breizh_vibes #breton #bretonne #bretagne #bretagneforever #parisienne #thisfrenchlife