Living in a small city in the French countryside has taught me that in some places, life is lived at a much slower, much more enjoyable pace. I have contact every day with the neighbours who live next door and down the street. Whenever I meet someone new, it’s as if I’m already known. The fields reflect soft light as people cross through their rustic paths, the sound of farm animals a variable soundtrack in the distance. The dust coats your shoes in a most welcoming way; you wouldn’t even think to wash it off. The days are long, hot, and earthy. We eat what’s fresh from the land and drink wine at lunch, wine at dinner. People stand and chat, walking chimneys whose cigarette smoke billows above their heads. The sky arches above stone-cut homes with histories far older than any of us could remember, winding streets cutting sharply through the hills. To think that I am here – that this way of life will be forever etched upon my own life – makes me very grateful to call myself an irignoise, at least for a summer.