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April 28, 2024

How the Sunday letters came to be

I read somewhere that “the way we tell a story has a great influence on our happiness.” So, this morning, I stop lamenting and contemplate the heavenly blue of the sky. Of course, like anyone with zest for life, I would’ve liked to have met an artist, a poet, a rare bird who flies far above, but I already had three children and my two feet were nailed solidly to the ground. With my heart and body invested solely in my work for so many years, numbers were much more important to me than men or words.

That’s how I matured without even noticing it, until two old crows I’ve already told you about, Retirement and Old Age, came into my life. Then with age, Lady Solitude also came along. We lose a few feathers, we lose near ones, friends, sisters or husbands, and we find ourselves facing a void. Do you remember April 2020, the terror of the century disguised as a horrible virus? In all of two seconds, I was alone, worried, locked down between the hills, with only my words for company.

The COVID witch sharpened my emptiness and taught me how to keep quiet. I was afraid of dying. Thankfully, I had a dozen black crows on my roof cawing and asking for my attention. I would throw breadcrumbs at them, and they’d get closer to my balcony. These first friends during my solitude kept me alive. I even came to talk to the ants, the worms and to the big groundhog living under the porch. As the weather became milder, I’d settle each morning on the grass and wait for the dandelions to grow.

While the horrible virus kept passing over my home, I turned on the TV to catch the daily count of elderly souls that had flown out the window. I got scared, I got thirsty; I could see pretty streams of my childhood in my dreams. And then summer came and burst into beauty. Hand-drawn rainbows light up the streets. I’m out for a walk. In front of me, an old couple holds on to each other, welded together and moving as one. I envy them! I hear the rustling of the branches stretching out in the sun, the humming of the bees, the gentle scent of flowers. Lifting my head up high, I admire a parade of geese tracing words for me in the pale blue of the sky.

Weeks fly by and the worst expires. “Don’t talk about it anymore,” repeats a host on an American TV show. Quickly, I turn on my tablet and my fingers start by thanking the universe that I’m still alive. I write to the angels, wrap my lines in golden paper and then console everything that moves around me. With my words flying, my sentences taking flight, a new life writes itself like a novel that we finally want to read.

I love to create meaning by bringing words to life. I love to start a paragraph slowly, like when we enter a river, and then plunge headfirst into a revelation. It’s exactly how the SUNDAY LETTERS came to be, dear readers! In my mind’s kitchen, I started to draft delightful breakfasts of words. Short letters to whet your appetite, homemade caramel, fudge and delicious cake recipes that you could easily make yourself. The faster Sundays arrived, the stronger my enthusiasm grew. My heart, filled with love, rejoiced in your good company.

Without even realizing it, I did what I’ve always done since I was a little girl: write! And so I started writing to you. First my recipes, and then the remarkable story of our business and, by extension, the entire saga of my surprising life story. I ventured into the sea up to my waist, then my shoulders and often into the open water. You followed and loved me. You painted pink all the brown spots on my body. You turned my heart into a lighthouse, a bouquet of tiny lights illuminating my written lines.

Writing these SUNDAY LETTERS awoke the writer inside me. I discovered that my greatest pleasure consists in aligning words, throwing the bare bones of a story onto a page and writing it in black ink, eyes wide open. My memory is a real treasure trove, a live photo album. As I invite Lady Creativity and Lady Inspiration to visit on the white of the page, I jot down the scribbles of time.

By reading me, you teach me to be a better writer.