détente (day-tant) noun, feminine
: relaxation, easing
synonym: relâchement (loosening, slackening)
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La sieste consiste essentiellement en un repos du cerveau. Elle suppose une relaxation mentale suite à une détente physique. ("La sieste serait bénéfique à la santé" Le Bien Public)
A Day in a French Life...
by Kristin Espinasse
I am lying on a sandy beach somewhere in the Giens* peninsula. My suitcase is packed, the floor is swept, et je profite,* taking advantage of the two hours that remain until check-out time.
But before I check back into the real world again, post four-day family vacation, there remains the here and now, no matter how dwindling, with its soaring seagulls, its whoosh of gentle waves, and its soft, rocking chatter of voices along the salt-scented marais.*
Not far from the pungent salt beds, or salins, and the picket fences that line a grassy, dotted-with-daisies-this-time-of-year marsh, other families, like my own, are planted along the plage* unwilling to budge lest that hamster wheel, nommé* "Overkill,"* return too fast, reach into a newly-rested soul (where Peace, the sacred prize, resides), and hasten to shake, ravage, and steal.
Giens peninsula = seaside town near Hyères; et je profite = and I take advantage; le marais (m) = marsh; la plage (f) = beach; nommé (verb nommer) = named; Overkill (hamster wheel) = work, when unbalanced with life
Three Random Words:
infâme = vile, unspeakable, loathsome, despicable
parsemer = to sprinkle with
antirides = anti-wrinkle
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For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety