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So many places, so many houses,
Sometimes I wonder where home is.
I close my eyes and remember,
That there is a chalet,
In the French Alps where,
The keys to enter are
Laughter and Imagination.

Upon entering I am startled by,
A snore erupting from the couch,
Once again Papou fell asleep,
Reading the newspaper.
He’ll wake up soon though to tell me,
Nestor the Dwarf’s latest adventure.

I smell a wondrous aroma,
Escaping from Nanou’s realm.
White clouds of sugar are rising,
In the kitchen oven.
Oh how I can’t wait to savor these meringues !

Running and running up the stairs I go,
On my right a mysterious bedroom.
Tis Uncle’s Olivier’s cavern,
Of secrets, miniature train sets,
Dusty glasses, film rolls,
And ancient manuscripts.

Across the hall is the dormitory.
Inside Matthieu is playing guitar,
Singing to the top of his lungs.
Sibylle is talking to,
Her stuffed animals,
And Amelia is on her bed reading Harry Potter,
For the seventh time.

“Eh les gars venez dehors !”
We all fly to the window.
Outside, holding a makeshift bow,
A little boy with golden curls,
Gallops across a sea of grass,
Thinking that he’s Legolas,
Leading an army of elfs.

So we all join him in the fresh air,
And ignoring the parents’ demands to come back before sunset,
We escape to our enchanted forest.
Time ceases to exist,
The Rock behind the tennis courts is our fortress,
The sticks on the ground are our swords,
We are the masters of our own world.

In Vallouise we live through the seasons:
Leave raking, rainy days, and mushroom picking when the trees are ablaze,
Igloos, snowmen, and snowball fights when the earth sleeps under a white blanket,
Flower bouquets, bird watching, and egg hunts when the world unveils a mosaic of pastel colors,
Hikes, picnics, and stargazing when life is as joyous as the sun illuminating the endless summer sky.
Before we know it,
These seasons succeed each other,
And years go by.
Children become teenagers.
Teenagers become adults.
Adults become elders.
When we were children we thought the haunted house across the street was scary,
Now some things are more serious,
Now some things are heavier to carry.
But as long as we come back to Vallouise,
The child in our hearts we will live on.




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papou said...
Mar. 4 at 4:21 am:
Hi I read Mathilde's poem on Vallouise which is the nicest place in the world, really !, I'm well waked up to day  and enjoy to read from Vallouise in such terms. It remembers me the better moments we spent together : skying, climbing, hikking, trailing, walking, tasting on the high mountains, walking in the "vallée des Bans" or visiting sheperds  and  they herds  and "Etoile" the sheperd's girl.  Thanks a lot for this piece of ... (more »)
 
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