This last week of February was an opportunity for me to take a few days off as a couple. I discovered with pleasure the wonders of the Bassin d’Arcachon. Wednesday, we set off on foot under the pines in Cap Ferret, with its charming little fishing villages. Narrow streets criss-cross between the wooden oyster huts. In the distance, you can make out the Dune du Pyla, or even, further north, the Bird Island, a wild space with its Tchanquées huts built on stilts.
We take the time. We stroll without a mask in the village of l’Herbe, almost deserted. A last detour to visit the chapel of the Algerian villa and its Moorish style, its wild and solitary exposure facing the sea. The bright sky and its splendid calm make us forget the difficult times we are going through.
The afternoon drags on, not to mention the curfew. You have to come back before 6am. The Covid era suddenly brings us back to reality: eight kilometers before hitting the road again and then returning to our house in the open countryside. We are on foot. Impossible mission ? Not so sure… Because then comes the idea of hitchhiking, the carpooling of the 80s, a 100% providence version. So off we went on the side of the road, hitchhiking, sticking out our thumbs like when we were 20 years old. 30 seconds of waiting… and a vehicle stops to pick us up. Incredible !
Her driver, Véronique, dressed in a windsurfing suit, takes us into her Van after clearing the seats so that we can sit down. Without a second to lose, we meet our driver. Véronique tells us about Cap Ferret, and especially about her professional activity: long coast instructor. The coast? A sporting activity that consists of walking with the body half submerged in the sea. Véronique easily answers our novice questions about this sport which, more and more, brings together caterpillars of six to eight people along the beaches. “In a few months, I got rock-solid abs,” Veronique simply admits. We begin to dream of taking part, one day, in a longe-côte session with Véronique. We laugh when leaving his blue Van before each resuming our routes. Not only did she stop, but she filled the few minutes of travel together with her warm presence. There really was a sharing of the present. We are all warmed by these moments of closeness and gratuitous kindness. It’s a great life lesson. “Within a few months, I built rock-solid abs, ” Véronique simply admits. We start dreaming one day of taking part in a coast-to-coast session with Véronique. We laugh when leaving our blue Van before resuming our roads. Not only did she stop by but she filled the few minutes of our trip with her warm presence. There was really a sharing of the present. We are all warmed by these moments of closeness and free kindness. It’s a great life lesson.
They don’t miss the beautiful encounters we can have in the Covid era, on vacation or at work, under the coming spring sun! It’s up to us to invite these unpredictable encounters on our paths, it’s up to us to provoke them.