Cassis. Only one glass.

Doesn’t a trip across the south of France sound dreamy? Don’t you think exploring local wines by the sea would be the ideal way to wrap up my year in France? Of course it does and of could it would be. That is why I planned this very adventure. However, all adventures have twists and turns. Mine happened to be in the shape of a silly little dog. Long story short, said dog left me with a nasty thigh wound, a day in a rural hospital, multiple doctors visits and a but load of insurance claims to make. What lovely souvenirs for me ha! More than that, said dog also took away my ability to run (my number one mental health crutch), as well as my freedom to enjoy the mediterranean whites or afternoons of rose in the Provincial sun. That is, I am on a strict booze ban for two weeks. Not great!

In all fairness, I am grateful to be alive and grateful to be in France. I would say “to be frolicking in France”, but I can’t quite frolic until my nasty wound heals herself haha. Fingers crossed I’ll be back at it in a few weeks. In the meantime, things need to be tweaked. As one friend put it, hopefully I’ll learn to appreciate my resilience and will grow stronger. Thank you, Jess, I intend to. 

What needs to be tweaked? Well, anyone who knows me knows that I am quite obsessive about running and even more obsessive over what goes in my mouth. Please note that moving to France has really helped me to let go. Never will I turn away bread and butter. Anyway, this injury is out of my control. I didn’t tell the dog to attack, it just happened. I need to accept that and be at ease. It’s a little emotional rollercoaster. Just when my emotions were already on the “you mean I have to leave France??!?!” whirl-a-tron, why not add in the extremes of a random, potentially infected, animal bite? Here’s the thing though, universe, you bitch, theme parks are my thing. I can handle this. 

Since the doggo took a lil bit of my leg and a whole precious day from my trip, I have been particularly grateful for every bit of sunshine, every bit of fresh air and every step I have taken. They may be a lot less than normal (for now), but each step is a fucking gift. That is, this random event has jolted me back into prioritising gratitude. Yes, gratitude.

Y’all know I’m appreciative for a lot and probably over apologise, or thank, but that is perhaps more external gratitude. What I’m talking about now is my internal stuff. I’m talking about the type of appreciation that is reserved just for me. 

I need to soak up the moment, each moment. I need to refrain from shying away from the new me and rather, lean in. Not to get too deep or anything, but life is too short to worry about the number of abs I have (currently 0.5 abs haha) and to waste energy stressing over dumb shit like that. To be all girly and quote Taylor Swift, ‘you play stupid games, you win stupid prizes’. I don’t want stupid prizes. I want, I deserve real prizes. Well, at least one prize. 

On that, today’s doctor looked me in the eyes and said ‘you can have one’. Followed by a wink. Hello, leaning in. So, if I am in a wine region I need to at least taste the local produce. With the doc’s approval I sat at a seaside cafe and ordered a glass of AOC vin de cassis. Sitting in the front row of the cafe, reading one of my wine books, soaking up the warm winter afternoon sun and watching it set, I was in my own little paradise. 

When the wine arrived I took a moment to look at it. To really look at it. Being my first (and only) taste of cassis wine, I really wanted to understand the wine and to appreciate it as much as possible. I have no clue which vineyard it was from, which grape, who made it, or anything. I just knew it was my vin de cassis. So, I looked at it, smelled it three times and took a small sip. It was golden, with stone fruits and honeysuckle on the nose. On the tongue, it was bold, salty and charged with high acidity. An oyster would have been perfect. Overall, it was considered, but a little too acidic, a little too clumsy. It was not perfect, but perfect for the moment. 

Who would have thought that spending nearly 72 hours (minus the hours spent in the hospital) in a wine region would only see one glass of wine. I certainly didn’t see that coming. However, although it wasn’t quite what I had hoped for, my time in Cassis reminded me to appreciate the calm, the quiet and the importance of resting. It has forced me to be at ease with the uncertainty of each day and reminded me not to take anything for granted. Much like my one class of cassis wine (which I am so thankful for), things don’t have to be perfect, but they can still be alright. Can a wine make me feel all of that? Sure can. If that’s not a magical moment, I don’t know what is. x

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