|A bell tower in Provence|
If someone asked you to name the sound that immediately makes you think of France, what would you choose? Some people would choose the loud churring of Provencal cicadas or the reverberating klaxons of Parisian ambulances. Others would hear music playing...music of the can-can or Edith Piaf's trilling R's as she sings "Non, je ne regrette rein." But to me, the sound that is quintessentially France is the tolling of church bells.
|Saujac in the snow|
|Fall color behind the Cadrieu church|
In my little village, the church bells only toll on the fourth Saturday of the month at 6 pm. This is when Mass is celebrated here by the priest from Cajarc. Unfortunately, I can't hear the bells from my own village church. I think this is because the Little Train House sits below the church which is up the hill from me. The sound must travel above me. The only other time this bell tolls (and all the other bells around me as well) is when someone dies. After the funeral service, the bell solemnly tolls, long and slow, as mourners walk behind the cortege to the cemetery for the burial.
In joy and sorrow, the bells mark the rhythm of life here for me. It's a sound that will always make me smile in remembrance of France no matter where I am in the world.