Tobago

Tobago
Horizon at Sandy Point

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The French Lady

World War 2 broke the whole world apart. When it was time to put it together again, so many parts didn't quite fit, so many others fell out and ended up in different places. Like the French lady.

She was born in a tiny village in a forested area west of Paris. By the end of the war, she had been flung across The Channel to England, a land slightly less broken than the one she left. She met a man, also far from a home across the Atlantic, from Trinidad southernmost island of the Caribbean. Romantic islands "discovered" by Columbus, colonised successively by many European powers, they were strategic outposts of empire and watchtowers for the west.

It was to these islands that she came, yet another adventurer by boat. Everything was strange but lovely, unscathed by battle, bombing or brutality. Life was real, and hardly mundane. From her mother-in-law, she learned to fan a coalpot, to roll a roti, to wash clothes on a jukking board.  Not only the climate was tropical and fertile. Children came quickly. Three born to the French lady in three years.

Half a century later, she lives again in France. Daily, she sees the young man she met in wartime London. Often, she thinks fondly of the children living in far off places, of their children and those to come. What do they make of the world now, inheritors of a global village with continents in their veins and wanderlust in their eyes?

(This is the last of the Arrival stories - for the time being - written in the hope that the real stories of the boy from India, and the French lady, might be told.)

2 comments:

  1. I'm enjoying these.. and I am now officially a 'follower!!

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  2. Me too! :) Are you retelling Grandmummy's story? She said that she was writing it, but in French. Who is the boy from India?

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