It’s early morning as I slip out of the cottage door and head down the short lane alongside the garden. There’s a faint pink glow in the sky as the sun starts to rise behind the clouds. The tide is high in the bay and there’s almost no room to walk along the sandy shore. All I can hear is the gentle lapping of the tide and the early morning chattering of the Brent geese that apparently winter here every year.
There’s a slight chill in the air but it still doesn’t feel cold enough for a January morning. I only have on a thin top beneath my jumper and jeans and the scarf thrown around my neck keeps me warm enough. The water sounds loud to my sleepy ears after the quiet stillness of the cottage at night, nestled between the ancient cedars in a corner of the well-tended gardens. The only disturbance is the occasional squirrel using the roof as a shortcut between trees.
I fleetingly wonder what my friends and family think of this latest escapade. It wasn’t really what we had planned at all. We thought by now we would have work and an apartment in Bordeaux and would fast be heading back to the life we knew before. But I guess the universe had another plan because here we are in another housesit on the beautiful Arcachon Bay with just enough work to keep us ticking over and plenty of time to explore the area, to keep writing, taking photos, working on our various projects.
I look out over the bay with its tides and changing weather, oyster farms and resident and visiting bird populations. I take a deep breath and register the feeling of calm and peace that has been with me since we came here. The first rays of sun are just beginning to pierce the clouds as I make my way up the lane again and quietly let myself back in to the little wooden cottage, our home for now.