So, I saw these two swans standing calmly on the edge of the weir and I thought maybe one was saying to the other “dinnae fash yersel” – or don’t worry/don’t get upset……..and how that attitude then turned out to be typical of this part of the world.
Not long after moving to the Charente region of France I was in the Orange shop trying to organise a phone line, broadband, a French mobile….and the assistant was on her computer trying to set me up with a new account. Something went wrong and she had to phone for help. After a few minutes of clicking here and there and conversing with her support line, she said “Soyons Zen” and finished her call. “C’est ça”. That was it sorted, our account was created and off we went.
I liked the phrase “Soyons Zen”, which means something like “Let’s be Zen”, or “Let’s stay Zen”. I think that little exchange says so much about the quality of life in this part of the world. Repeatedly I’ve found people helpful, friendly and not inclined to get agitated or upset easily. Maybe I’ve just been lucky, but the Charente river has the reputation of being a calm, flowing river through these parts.
I do think there’s something about this environment which seems to generate this attitude to life.
Which makes me wonder…..how much does our physical environment influence the way we experience life?