Rekindling a Love for the Outdoors in a French Garden

by: Melissa Risenhoover


I haven't always been a nature lover.

If you had asked me if I like nature before we left for our summer in France I would have said yes, but in reality I had slowly, over the last twenty years of my life, become somewhat of a snob when it came to the outdoors. If I was too hot or too cold I wanted inside. If I was wet, get me inside. Windy? Inside. Too far to walk? Inside...a car. 

You get the picture. 


Needless to say, France is sort of a nice place to be outside. And our friends, no matter where we went, loved the outdoors. I began to walk EVERYWHERE and learned to love it. I will never forget the first long walk we went on and about half way through I started to get mad. Why were we STILL walking? My feet hurt and I was annoyed. 

That was the turning point. I came back from that walk more mad at myself than anything. Why on earth would I be upset about walking? Using my two legs that work perfectly well and enjoying the beautiful beach town in FRANCE! I KNOW RIGHT??? I was blind. I almost don't want to write this because its so embarrassing. But it's the truth. 


During those summer months my attitude shifted. I had a rekindling of love for the outdoors and even took a very cold sea bath in the English Channel. (I'll have to share that story)

The following are my words I posted over a year ago. 

This summer our friends that lived by the sea in the Brittany region of France had a magical landscape that surrounded their home. We spent a lot of time in the garden that was tucked away behind layers of green shrubs and a lovely stone wall. As a child I loved being outside and enjoyed it probably more than being inside. As I got older my love for nature slowly dwindled and for the first few weeks of being in France this was very evident. Having friends who loved being outside and who also took regular "baths" in the very cold ocean near their home, was a blessing far beyond what I knew.

"My feet on the grass absorbing the wonderful energy of our earth and watching my kids fall in love with nature and the French landscape." 

I still cozied up quite a bit reading my books and taking much needed naps, but the call to go outside and be in nature was far stronger than I expected. Long walks, garden swings, ocean dips...we were outside a lot and for the first time in a long time I was enjoying it. My feet on the grass absorbing the wonderful energy of our earth and watching my kids fall in love with nature and the French landscape.