La Joie de L'Ame. Where to Find The Soul's Joy
Monkeys, Encouragement and French

Tiens bon! How to say "Hang in There" in French

Nice & Serre Chevalier 029
When nature decks the halls. Photo taken in Serre Chevalier, near Briançon.


    : hang in there!

ECOUTEZ / LISTEN - hear Kristi pronounce today's expression: 

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by Kristin Espinasse

I have not yet put up our Sapin de Noël and I did not send off any gift packages, or colis, in the mail this year. I will get my Christmas act together, somehow. Meantime, as the specter of Conformity looms--apparently taking up residence in my tightened throat,  I take comfort in reminding myself of what this season is about. Is it really about giving presents to each other or is it about celebrating the gift we have been given?

For me, that gift is Jesus Christ, by whom the Christmas season was inspired. Having read the previous line, you are either cheering or jeering or a little nervous about the unsubscribe response to my personal journal! (Thank you for caring! A thoughtful subscribership = enough readers for me, no matter individual beliefs).  

Rassurez-vous. I did not come here to talk about religion (I know that's a pas-pas. Just as talking about climate change was a no-no...). I am here to talk about all the pressure so many are feeling during "the season." There is pressure to give and pressure to receive. If you are feeling either type of pression, I offer two powerful French words for you now:


Whatever your beliefs, whatever your convictions, the best gift we can give someone (and the best we can give ourselves ) this time of year is love and acceptance. Not all of us can get our acts together. But we can offer these gifts of soulagement along with compassion and understanding (sympathy), which is what everyone wants, deep down.

With love - and many thanks for reading,


P.S. La Prière de Sérénité
If you  feel particularly anxious or hopeless this time of year, read The Serenity Prayer in French and English. Click here

French Vocabulary
le sapin de noël = Christmas tree
le colis = package
rassurez-vous = take heart
la pression = pressure
le soulagement = relief


For the past 6 weeks Jean-Marc has been managing this project: the clearing of these fields for his future mourvèdre vines. You can see the Mediterranean Sea, in the backdrop. If all goes well Jean-Marc will plant his 4th parcel vines in March, and the baby plants will be caressed by a salty sea breeze. More photos from our vineyard on Instagram

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For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety