Mornings, "en confinement" or in quarantine, have taken on a new feeling, and most likely a completely different one for each of us. Gratitude, or "la reconnaissance" comes naturally, and yet, takes a little more effort, after perhaps one more night of "insomnie". The very word insomnia was not even part of my working vocabulary until it arrived in Spanish in my world with the most astonishing "Cien Años de Soledad" or "100 Years of Solitude" from Gabriel Garcia Marquez. This is one way in which our worlds can, must, joyfully DO expand with another language. Even a word that exists, clearly, in your own tongue, may not have held true significance before hearing it in another. Like what, you ask? How about "rendez-vous"? Hmmm?

The first time that word was pronounced out-loud in my presence was when a police officer knocked on the door of a car in which I may have been in the midst of a discussion with a boyfriend late at night-or not. He requested that we take this "rendez-vous" elsewhere, because the neighbors had complained. I was perfectly outraged by his blatant misuse of what was used in French to say "appointment" and not the less savory "assignation". I knew because our highschool French II class had just learned it in relation to a dentist visit.

Gratitude then, has allowed for my morning, which could very well have been rendered sad and colorless by the necessity of cutting down on my nice dollop of (heavy whipping, not half and half) cream in my coffee, along with the lack of sleep meaning that café is even more precious, is instead transformed by having the chance to witness another phenomenon of a French expression: "un nuage de lait".

Qu'est-ce que c'est? What it is? It literally means "a cloud of milk" which artfully drops down into the bottom of the cup, (the key being: this only occurs when it is added in the tiniest quantities) and swirls itself back up into a majestic work of art that mimics the heavens when the most artistic clouds form, reform and paint the sky in wondrous patterns. I never would have discovered this without certain medical conditions that have obliged me to measure out my cream, nor would the image have had the same beauty without the addition of the French expression to glorify it just a little.

Bon appetit (enjoy your meal) and bonne journée! (Have a delightful day!)