Some places don’t want to give themselves away. Their beauty lies in a cocoon, protected against the aggressions of the many. Some places remain shy despite their splendor. More aware of their flaws than of their qualities. Some places impose greatness in sobriety, they play silent symphonies. Some places shape people more so than people could ever shape them.
La Bretagne is all this.
This region is a root, a flower, and a horizon. It is a castle and a breeze. It is the gray and the humble, the blue and the silent, the green and the painful. It inhabits its people. Its wind thickens the soul; its rain pervades hopes.
Easiness does not belong in Bretagne. Everything there comes at a price. Liking Bretagne is not about enjoying its beauty but about cherishing that price. This region of infinite humility can distinguish minds and souls as much as it can shatter them. Bretagne lovers are people of persistence. They are loyal to its defects to sometimes be privileged enough to enjoy its treasures. The immediateness of its rain fades away before the promise of its sun.
Parisians all fall for the superior beauty of the place. They all, too, fall for the idea of them loving Bretagne. Loving that gray and that rain, loving the cold and the unfriendly, loving the brutality of a character defined day after day by the unstoppable winds. Not all Parisians can take Bretagne. Unchained sunshines and insolent blues are reachable enough. They are easy enough. It takes a form of impermeability to the modern world to prefer the grays of Bretagne over them. Only poets can come back to Bretagne regularly, only they can cope with its superb attitude.
Most Parisians are deeply certain they love Bretagne. Yet very few go there repeatedly: “Attends, je bosse comme un dingue, je veux pas retrouver à passer un weekend sous la pluie, ah non, no way“. Rain it seems drenches even the most poetic of souls.
The gray skies of Bretagne let us contemplate that, observing this end of a land, one might also catch sight of the end of a world.
Useful tip: The coastline of Bretagne is regularly breathtaking. Explore.
Sound like a Parisian: “Ah non, la Bretagne c’est magnifique, j’aime trop. Par contre les Bretons, qu’est-ce qu’ils picolent!”