A Quiet Morning

It is sweetly ordinary here on the terrace of Le Pain Quotidien.  Four cobbled streets come together at odd angles.  Human beings have just started their daily journeys.

From some window behind and above come the strains of a wind instrument.  Is it a clarinet?  An accordion?  I smile as I realize that I don’t know … and I don’t care.  I am being lulled.

There is the clatter of occasional bicycles on the cobblestones.  I hear the approach, see the colours fly by, and off around the corner.

Here comes grandpa, pushing an infant in a stroller.  The little one is all bundled up against the cold, a wool hat snugged up just above the eyes.

And still the melody flows …

Lots of strolling couples, often sporting down jackets.  Sometimes the woman’s hand tucked into the man’s arm, sometimes hand warming hand, sometimes two parallel lines.

One tiny street, just out of the photo on the left, seems neglected.  No one has followed the curve towards me.  I wonder who lives there.

(I just finished tapping the word “there” … and here come six folks down that street.  Everything is included.)

Church bells begin their chiming at 10:44, covering us with the celebration.  The musician behind me must be taking a break.

Now it’s 10:50 and the wistful sound continues.  It feels like Europe, which it is.

It’s all cloudy here.  Pigeons twist and turn in the sky.  The muesli goes down easy, adorned with strawberry, banana and coconut.  My latté is still a little warm.  My nose runneth over. And the bells continue …

I am home

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