My last days in Arles. It hasn’t seemed real that the summer is finally coming to a close until now. “Profiter Bien!” (which means to benefit) from our last few days, everyone said. I found myself just walking the streets a lot in my last hours here, taking in the sights and familiar faces I have come to know so well. A last look at the Théâtre Antique, a last afternoon passed in the park, a last ice cream at Soleileis (the best ice cream in Arles, if I do say so myself), a last Saturday morning market to buy peaches and olive bread.
All of these things I have become so accustomed to are suddenly going to be gone. These people I have spent these last six weeks with, this family I have started to become a part of. It’s strange how easily your life can become something completely different, and still feel normal. We’re creatures made to adapt, that I’ve learned to be true.
A favorite last memory perhaps? Comin’ your way…
This morning after I got all of my suitcases down two flights of stairs (no easy task, I’ll tell ya that) I went to say goodbye to my friend Hayley who lives just a few doors down. This morning the air was on the verge of crisp and felt like fall. It reminded me there is so much more to come, so many adventures after this one. I was greeted by Hayley, her host mom and her ten year-old host sister. Her host mom offered me a fresh chocolate croissant and tea and though I had just eaten breakfast, I figured that I should “profiter bien” and have a last croissant and chat. I had some time before my train. We sat around the table and didn’t want to say goodbye.
My family used to go up north to Green Lake near Traverse City every summer to be all together for one week. The last morning always felt the same. We would get up and the air would be crisp from the lake, the grass dewy, the air quiet. My cousins and I would sit around the kitchen table and know that the goodbye’s were coming. This morning felt the same. But a part of me loves that feeling. When you’re sitting around the kitchen table in that quiet sadness, not wanting to say goodbye. I like it because it means we’ve got people that we love so much we never want to say goodbye to. I like it because it means also getting to have the feeling of anticipating seeing them again, and all the joy that will bring.
It’s never “au-revoir,” it’s “à bientôt.” (see you soon).
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<div><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">Hello! My name is Hannah Jacobsma. I am a French and English double major at Hope College. I am studying abroad in Arles this summer for six weeks, and couldn't be more stoked! To explore and be immersed in this culture, meeting people of all kinds along the way, is what I look forward to the most. I'd love to share my journey with you all, and tell you stories along the way. ~Peace and Blessings</span></div>