France: a country that doesn’t miss the point of life
Features: France. Replete with dizzying diversity and rich cultural heritage.
There’s more to the country than meets the eye when one looks beyond the usual suspects-architecture, history, food and fashion.
There’s something less tangible, but no less important than what might excite a lot of people about The Hexagon: peace with what is. There’s a calmness about French people that’s almost worrying to outsiders.
To the uninitiated, French people are in no rush to do anything. At cafe Bolivar in Paris, I met an American working as a waiter. He shared with me how he was told to ‘chill’ because he was always trying to rush orders the American way.
French people aspire to not miss the mark, the point of life. They don’t even seem to try. They just seem to enjoy the present moment.
I don’t know the origins of this seemingly effortless knack for presence. But I got my theories. Underlying the calm is a raging storm and rebellious nature.
The French Revolution and subsequent radical political shifts support the notion French are notoriously rebellious and fickle. Subservient to neither god, nor political leaders.
This is amply demonstrated in the boldness of French art and architecture. At the Louvre, an art lover and connoisseur can find some of the best works of art in the world; including the Mona Lisa.
Adding to the allure of this beautiful and charming country is the architectural wonder of Eiffel Tower which proffers panoramic views of the city of love.
Almost three-hours away is Normandy, which offers a marked departure from the big city vibe of Paris. Refreshing countryside. And a rich tapestry for World War II history buffs, as well as the spiritually-inclined to meditate on the brevity of life. It’s a place to appreciate life’s brevity and feel the urgent call to truly live.
Sainey Darboe is a Gambian-American travel writer with focus on nature and spirituality.