That is where “Joie De Vivre” starts… I think…

Have you ever noticed how old people do things? Most of them don’t have much of a choice I guess, but I love how slowly and consciously they do everything. From how carefully they pick their produce at the market to the way they eat or even load the dishwasher…llllk

I find that doing things slowly (when I can) is very therapeutic. Especially cooking. It is conducive to staying in the now.

A lot of what we call “Joie de vivre” has to do with living in the present moment.

On Arturo Toscanini’s eightieth birthday, someone asked his son, Walter, what his father ranked as his most important achievement. The son replied: “For him there can be no such thing. Whatever he happens to be doing at the moment is the biggest thing in his life – whether it is conducting a symphony or peeling an orange.”

Italian conductor Arturo Toscanini (1867 - 1957) conducts the NBC Symphony Orchestra in a televised recording of Verdi's 'Hymn of the Nations', 1944. (Photo by Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

My Grandmother passed 5 years ago. She was a 101. We were picking cherries on the tree together just days before she died. We where doing it slowly… consciously. That is were “Joie De Vivre” starts… I think…H92A8733 Numériser 55 13-56-27 H92A8001

43 Comments Add yours

  1. Nadia says:

    I just made a cherry clafoutis so your post was very timely. May your grandmother smile down on you.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      I’m sure she is. I’ll go read your post.

  2. chef mimi says:

    another wonderful post. i don’t have the words, but everyone else who commented said it well!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      I’m getting back into the game and loving it 😊😉

  3. Conor Bofin says:

    This brings me right back to our last conversation. That certainly was JDV. Also, it is great to see the thoughtful posts appearing again, with regularity. Lovely stuff.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks my friend!! I haven’t done much research on your blog and maybe the answer’s in there somewhere and there are so many great recipes, but would you send me your recipe from the other evening with maybe one or two pics. I’d like to post about your dinner and my iphone photos are not quite good enough…

      1. Conor Bofin says:

        Will do. Though, I don’t have any of the finished dish. I have some lovely beef shin shots that you must give to your butcher. I’ll get to it as soon as….

        Very hectic since we got back.

        Stay well,

        1. My French Heaven says:

          Thanks. Take your time!!

  4. I know this, but I need to be reminded regularly. Merci, Stéphane, for this wonderful reminder.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Most welcome my friend! Carpe diem I say!

  5. Although I’m a fast twitch muscle person and tend to move quickly, I do enjoy taking the time to see and savor things. Even when I’m walking for exercise, I always have my iPhone with me and am willing to stop and take shots of what I see. I find that being a photographer emphasizes looking, really looking, at things and that takes time. Taking time is also therapeutic in a world that moves faster all the time.


    1. My French Heaven says:

      I totally agree with you. I’ve always been a visual person, but I too find that photography forces you to be more in the moment as well as notice things more. Noticing beauty in all it’s forms has become second nature for me… I’m the kind of guy who can cry at the sight of a sunset… 😉

  6. colormusing says:

    This is, for me, one of the greatest pleasures of food: taking the time to consciously notice and enjoy each part of the process, from choosing the menu and shopping for ingredients to the mise en place (my favorite), cooking, and eating. I love that what starts as a necessity of life can be elevated into such pleasure, and even art.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      So well put!!!

  7. What a lovely, poignant post. Thank you for sharing your Grandmother with us!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      You are most welcome 🙂 i know she doesn’t mind 😉

  8. I will have to say the older I get, the less I care about things that don’t really matter.

    I also remember picking cherries when I was young. It is so clear for some reason, picking with my mom and eating far far too many of the pie (“sour”) cherries. 🙂

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Oh I know the feeling. I remember once getting so sick after eating about two pounds of warm cherries right off the tree. Never picked cherries on a hot day again after that 🙂

  9. This is a marvellous post 🙂 It’s a great reminder to all of us to take a step back and enjoy the moment. With the fast pace of life these days, you can really lose that feeling of ‘living’.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      You certainly can! Carpe Diem then my friend 🙂

  10. Sadie's Nest says:

    One of my best friends turned 97 this year. I love everything about her, the way she considers her words, the way she sees through things to the truth of the matter, the way she offers me something to drink… I get it.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Some people really are special and inspiring. I hope I live long enough to inspire someone. The way I eat, I think implosion time should happen around 50 😉

  11. How wonderful that your grandmother was still vibrant enough at 101 to pick cherries! I hope to be as fortunate, but of course it’s not all fortune — I would think that genetics and the life we lead are factors as well. So, I’ll do what I can to ensure a long and healthy life and hope that fortune smiles down on me.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      I’m sure it will Marlene. God I love that name!

      1. Really? Thank you! 😊 Where I live, Marlene is a fairly uncommon name, but when I was 16 my family travelled to Belgium, my parents’ homeland, and I met lots of girls named Marleen! It’s definitely more popular in Europe.

        1. My French Heaven says:

          I always think of Dietrich with a cigarette holder… So classy

  12. I so enjoyed the markets over there. I found them to be vibrant. But you do see the older people being more thoughtful in their approach and the younger crowd buzzing round. It’s an interesting play on human nature.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      I think you found the right word: vibrant! Now I think I’m slowly going to get dinner ready 😉

      1. With a lovely glass of wine I hope…

        1. My French Heaven says:

          Or two 😜

  13. thefolia says:

    Cheers to being in the moment!

    1. My French Heaven says:


  14. Angeline M says:

    I have never had the wonderful experience of going to a French market, but think that an open air Farmer’s Market anywhere, if done with being in the present, in the open air, surrounded by fresh produce is Joie de Vivre. There is just somethiing about them that brings joy to the soul. I so agree with your grandmother…a glass of red wine with meals is of the essence. I love your photos, especially the one of your grandmother!

  15. Dina says:

    Nothing beats a french market, we sadly miss the range and quality you have got. Lovely post, a tribute to Joie De Vivre!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      I’m afraid even ours aren’t what they used to be… 😦

  16. Charming picture of your grandmother (101, wow!) and how nice, to send us this lovely reminder to take things slow, being mindful & patient. Most things are definitely worth doing it this way and sometimes we forget. Merci beaucoup, N xx

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks N! Yes, 101! Red wine at every meal!!

      1. Fantastic, a lady after my own heart. N

  17. Ashley says:

    Being present…in the moment, with “one mind” is truly healing. You are right. Joie de Vivre!

    1. My French Heaven says:


  18. We love a french market !!!!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      They are quite special I must say 😉

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