It Takes a Village

I live in a village that transforms every few weeks into Storybrooke, Maine, the setting of the television series, Once Upon a Time. I've never watched series but it is a favourite of my daughter. Vintage-style signs are hung and window displays are changed. For thirty years, I have shopped in this village sharing stories with the merchants about growing children and aging parents.  My father walked into the village every day before his hospitalization. The local coffee shop woman knew that he wanted his coffee with some hot water added.  Once, he collapsed on the pier and a woman in one of the nearby restaurants went looking for my mother.

What makes a village? Not vintage signs or props.  It's taking the time to listen to the shopkeeper's story or sharing your own joys and challenges. It's listening and caring about the elderly customer or remembering the girl that you taught many years ago.  It's meeting people of like mind in a coffee shop.
A village is about caring and connecting. Neither shopping malls nor online sites can provide us with this human contact.
Post office-museum in my home village
Aurélie dans son restaurant à Paris

You can find a village in a quaint surrounding, in an arrondissement in Paris, in a barrio in Mexico or wherever you take the time to connect with people on a personal level.

Aurélie's restaurant La Pomme d'Amour is at 316 rue St. Jacques in the 5th in Paris. I lived above the restaurant, ate, studied, practised my French and brought many a Canadian visitor there.