Leaving Les Battees

31 Aug

Well, I did it.  I left Les Battees.  I find that every time I leave someplace on this journey it feels like at least some sort of leap of faith.  New adventures ahead…still unfolding… some are known, but much unknown.

My host Roy couldn’t have been sweeter as I left from the train station not far from Les Battees.  He was helpful in all the little ways that mattered to me in my departure outside of the comfort and nestling of the French countryside.  He walked me into train station, assisted me in turning in my e-ticket for a “real ticket” and directed me to “compost” my ticket, a validation of sorts required for all tickets before entering the train.  And he assisting me in finding my car number and seat number on the train and finding the appropriate section of the gate for my car.  It’s the little things that make a difference when venturing out on one’s own into new territory.

I had fun my last few days at Les Battees.  It was simple fun, but it was what I had grown to count on.  Enjoying the fresh country air, simple lunches outside, strolls in the countryside.  And of course you can’t forget ironing sheets and cleaning bathrooms for the guest house.  Perhaps not always fun, but a good experience in its own way.  I was glad to be there to assist Roy in the myriad of daily activities during his busy season as the Chambres D’hotes.  And, like Mary Poppins, every good custodian of service has a time to arrive… and a time to leave.  Today was my time.

And where did the wind blow me you may ask?  Well not too far away.  I jumped on a lightning fast French train called a TGV and headed to Paris.  And that’s where I am now!  It is still amazing to me that all of the places that we think and dream of visiting and seeing are actually real places that you can get to… if you buy a ticket!

I was a little nervous about leaving the nest.  But I collected my remnants of high school French, left behind Les Battees, and headed on my way.  I have been here now just for hours really.  I am sitting outside a cafe spending a little time until I can check into my hostel in Paris.  So far my two hours of being in Paris have been quite welcoming!  A friendly Frenchman helped me get my huge (it seems to be growing) red suitcase off of the train.  And then I found my way to the metro.  Pretty easy all in all with friendly French staff throughout.

I had an unexpected experience on my way to the metro…  I was attempting to make my way through the large metro door for handicapped and those with luggage.  It took a few times to get through and on the other side there was a friendly Frenchman who seemed to be waiting for me to make sure I made it through.  Once I did he became my escort of sorts… carrying my bag for me and leading me along the long route to my metro line.  He only spoke French so I understood some of what he said, but there were other things I was not quite sure I understood.  He ended up escorting me on the metro and once I arrived at my stop he exited with me and carried my heavy bag all the way up the stairs.  What a help!

Being a suspicious American I did wonder some of what he was asking and saying…  but my instincts told me not to worry.  When we arrived at street level of my stop he continued to speak in French and I continued to only partially understand.  I was able to communicate that I couldn’t check in for another few hours.  And he continued to communicate things that… I wasn’t clear I understood.  So I played it safe and found two nice English-speaking Frenchmen to translate… and suddenly the conversation became simple.  He just wanted to make sure that I could get to my hotel okay with the bag.  “Yes, it is not far” I said.  Then he amicably shook my hand and headed on his way.  Welcome to Paris!

I am spending the night in a little hostel for women only and will spend the next few days touring Paris.  I was fortunate enough to get a little tourist direction from a local connection I have through a networking group.  So I am ready!  Paris here I am come.  But for now… just a little more time before me and my luggage can check into my hostel.  Their doors are only open for check in only from 7-9pm.  So I am writing as the evening sun begins to set and the cool Paris air tosses things about.  It’s good to be in Paris.

I will depart with my favorite new quote from the Course in Miracles workbook, Lesson 244.  It says simply “I am in danger nowhere in the world.”  And so it is.

Photo of Les Battees Guest House nestled in the surrounding French countryside.

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