V and I were so smug in June. We’d heard that the weather in Brittany was terrible and could be kind of demoralizing. The summer started out perfect, though. June was absolutely beautiful (remember our beach days on Les Blancs Sablons?) – sunny and hot, and we took full advantage to explore the absolutely gorgeous coastline. “What are people talking about?” we said. “The people on the French Riviera don’t know what they’re missing!” we crowed. “This is just as beautiful and the weather is perfect!” we gloated. We started to look at real estate as we considered purchasing our own little corner of heaven here in Brittany.
Yeah. Then we met July. It was gray and the clouds hung low in the sky. I’m not sure it rose above 65º all month. It rained more days than not. The deep tan I’d acquired in June started to fade. Our talk of a home purchase quieted down.
One day last month, though, I was out for a walk on this (typical, I’d realized) Breton summer day.
The sun broke through occasionally, but it was mostly cloudy and temperatures hung in the low 60s.
I walked a stretch of the coastal trail on the northwest coast, and noticed that everywhere were people enjoying summer activities. Teenagers took sailing and windsurfing lessons. Generations of a family played boules on the beach. Kids bodysurfed while their moms looked on (wearing sweatshirts over their bathing suits). This was as good as it got, and they were going to enjoy the summer they had.
A few days ago I looked back on the photos of that day and realized that it truly was a beautiful day.
Since that day my attitude toward the Breton “summer” has changed. I’m a glass half full kind of person by nature, anyways, so it hasn’t been too hard to accept the new summer reality. It’s like accepting the New England winter – you must wear the appropriate outwear (in this case, a fleece over t-shirt and shorts), you should take up an outdoor sport that’s weather appropriate (I’ll take hiking along the coast, please), and you need to get away to a truly warm place at least once during the season (Greece, of course!).