Be our guest: Louise

1 January 2017

‘Be our guest’ is an encounter with a personality and an issue. For a few lines, the Mag belongs to them. They can make it their own. Its tone, its style and the story it tells is theirs alone.

Today our guest is Louise, who I first met through her enchanting Instagram account, @lattrapereves. She lives in the Landes department of southwestern France. Her partner is a carpenter and she spends her days searching for treasures for her boutique, L’Attrape Rêves. Louise kindly agreed to be our guest and to reflect on the following theme: ‘I left the city for family life in the woods’.L'attrape rêves

I am writing this from my bedroom. Outside, the sun bounces off damp cork oak leaves, there are pine trees as far as the eye can see, and I can hear the cries of cranes migrating to the south.
I am writing this from a forgotten corner of a forest in southwest France.

I am a real city-dweller.
One who orders sushi and goes to the cinema several times a month, who meets up with her friends in a restaurant or bar.
I had a happy life in the city. And then my daughter was born, and my beautiful apartment, light and spacious though it was, suddenly felt far too small.L'attrape rêves

It has to be said that Violette is a wild child! She has this incredible life force and relentless energy.
I spent two years feverishly waiting for the gates of the public park to open so that she could go and LIVE, without me saying no, be careful, taking her by the hand. But even the public park wasn’t big enough for her thirst for life. So, when she started to wash herself in muddy puddles, we left.

People told me I was mad to go and bury myself away in the country. ‘You won’t last two months!’ they said. But there you have it: I’ve lasted four years now and I, we, have never been so well-balanced.

Living with your children surrounded by nature is like letting them seize real life with their hands, their eyes and their hearts.
It’s running until you’re out of breath. Knowing the seasons by more than just their names. Touching the ground with your own hands. Coming across squirrels and pheasants on the school run. Distrusting the wild boars of the forest and knowing that a real vegetable garden doesn’t give you tomatoes in December…L'attrapes rêves

My children invent thousands of stories, forage for mushrooms, recognise the jay by its song.
They are connected to life itself. They run their fingers over the red bark of the cork oaks, and collect their own pine kernels.

They save washed-up starfish after school and watch the sun set over the ocean. There is always sand between their toes and their hair always smells of bonfire…

To go and live in the countryside is a big decision to make. It’s also a huge opportunity that I couldn’t not take.l'attrape rêves

Sure, I go to the cinema less now.
I hardly ever eat sushi and I rarely set foot in a shop.
The children get crazy excited when they see an escalator. They all take up loads of space on the pavement and think pigeons are exotic animals! When I see them taking up that much space as they walk around town, I say to myself, with my city-girl heart, that I’ve done the right thing by them.L'attrape rêves

Fly from place to place, little ones.
With earth under your nails and sand in your slippers, always. And in the depths of your pockets a conker or a shell – precious treasures.

May your roots always run as deep as those of the cork oak and may your steps always be as light as those of the wren who nests in our tree, because as you grow up, this incredible force will be with you, wherever your path may lead.L'attrape rêves

1 comment

  1. Schreiber
    1st January 2017, 17:56

    Chère Louise,
    vos enfants ont l’immense chance de vivre libres, dans un univers magique où le bonheur est Roi.
    Toute leur vie ils garderont les souvenirs de ces années enchantées car vous êtes la douceur et l’équilibre dont ils ne sauront ce passer.
    J’ai cette image de votre famille autour d’une table ronde, qui me fait penser que rien ne viendra troubler votre quiètude, votre maman si bienveillante avec vos petits, ses expressions de tendresse et d’Amour dont vous avez hérité.
    Vous, Louise, incarnez l’Amour, la tendresse, la sensibilité, le réconfort,, la sérénité et votre amoureux dégage la sagesse, la générosité, la sécurité, la confiance.
    Si je peux me permettre une comparaison avec un chêne liège… vos parents en sont les racines, vous et votre amoureux en êtes des branches, votre foyer est un nid douillet niché au creux de vos deux branches et vos enfants sont les fruits de ce chêne…des glands qui dans quelques années, deviendront eux aussi des arbres majestueux et dont vous serez à, votre tour, les solides racines…
    Je vous suis depuis quelques mois et c’est toujours très émue que je regarde vos photos, une telle douceur s’en dégage, vos commentaires me font toujours sourire, rire et parfois pleurer car quand vos souvenirs douloureux remontent à la surface, je suis triste pour vous et pour Violette. Son papa est un ange gardien bienveillant à vos côté pour l’éternité mais, avant celle ci, il y a une vie sur terre dont il faut jouir .
    Je vous souhaite en ce premier jour de l’an 2017 tout le bonheur que vous méritez et que tous vos souhaits se réalisent.
    Affectueusement . MP Lorraine.

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