These past few days were magical and truly un-explainable, but I will do my best. We drove into Quebec, across a very bumpy large bridge onto the island of Orleans. We drove through farm land covered in strawberries, asparagus, horses, cows, and little cottages, French signs hung outside stores and the view, was just incredible.
We found our little cottage, literally right along the main road (just like the little towns you drive through in France), right next door to the little village market, and only a few blocks from the bakery and church. The door was wide open waiting for us, inside the place was simple, aged and perfect. Downstairs was a main room with a kitchen and bathroom. Upstairs was two bedrooms with the ceiling not much taller than 5 foot (originally where they old market owner would have stored their flour and supplies). It had a claw foot tub inside one room and views of the water from both.
Out back was a picnic table, an incredibly yard blooming with life and just beyond the sea wall a stunning waterway.
I messaged the airbnb owner asking where something was and she said to just come outside as her home was just beyond our parking spot. We then met Liliane. Liliane was warm and welcoming.
They boys both hugged her and let themselves into her home where they looked around and helped themselves to her stuff that to them could be played with. We stayed and talked for a bit. Liliane had the local farm deliver strawberries to our door.
The next day I was out back with the kids while Adam was inside working, with a magical view.
The boys were playing on the beach and Lil invited me and Avilene to sit on her deck with her. We spent all afternoon there talking and enjoying each others company. The boys joined us, Adam joined us, we then invited Lil over for dinner later that night. We brought nutritarian tacos and she brought a salad and some wine. We sat outside past nightfall and talked, laughed and enjoyed.
Over the following two days we had some nice moments together. Something clicked. Something felt comfortable, normal, and just meant to be (I have no idea if she would agree, but this is my perspective) Lil actually resembled my Dad’s mother, my Grandmother as a younger woman and how close I imagine we would have been.
Ever since my Mom passed always, just under a year ago, I have felt lost. I have felt that I was missing something so incredibly large, a hole that was too deep. I have found myself crying and tearing up quite a lot since the moment I hugged Lil goodbye on Saturday. I miss her. I miss the cottage. I miss the simple yet wholeness we felt as a family in this spot.
I haven’t been able to feel that close to anyone since my Mom passed away. I haven’t found joy in too much. I have just kind of been waiting. Waiting for something or someone to take me to a new place, a place of comfort, happiness, support, joy, friendship, laughter, intrigue, wholeness. And for our few days in Saint-Jean-de-l’Île-d’Orléans I felt that. I do hope we cross paths with Lil again soon. (her place on the island is for sale, and don’t even think we didn’t have a few discussions about snatching it up, we am just a little unsure about winter)
As a family, we spent so much time together, without the tv, without the phone, most of the time even without music. We cooked together, ate together, played together, talked together. The boys built a helicopter out of couch cushions, they watched tanker ships float by. We stayed up late, cuddled in bed, and walked through the town. We all learned a few words in French and just enjoyed each other.
So, Lil, thank you for listing your place on Airbnb, here is the link to the home. Thank you for being you and welcoming us to your home. And thank you for your generosity, sincerity and love.