I awake to a bright light streaming in through the window. I rise and glance out. The world is white, and I smile, happy. In the kitchen, I place a log in the stove, watch it spark into flame, and I smile, happy. I put the kettle on the hob, then switch on the radio. The kettle sings, so I make a cup of tea. I sip my tea, thank life for today, and I smile, happy.
There is no equivalent word for ‘home’ in french. Instead, home is where the ‘fireplace’ is;
Je rentre au foyer
I return to the fireplace
Heureux qui,comme Ulysse, a fait un beau voyage
by Joachim Du Bellay (1522-1560)
Happy he whom, as Ulysse, has made a beautiful voyage,
Or as he who has conquered the ‘Golden Fleece,
And then returned, full of manner and reason,
To live between his kin the rest of his age!
When will I see again, my little village,
The chimney smoke, and in which season,
When will I see again the enclosure of my poor abode,
Which is my shire, and even more?
I like more this ancestral building,
Than the audacious Roman palaces,
More than the hard marble, I love the fine slate:
More my gaulois Loire, than the latin Tiber,
More my little Liré, than the Mount Palatin,
And more than the sea winds, the sweetness of Anjou.