C’est la vie?

I have eaten strawberries for lunch today, picked from our own garden, large red and delicious. Lovely, but… I have had to share them! With wood lice and slugs. It is disappointing to pick a large ripe fruit and discover it is hollow, eaten from the inside. Still, c’est la vie as they say, and some careful washing and cutting gave us plenty of sweet mouthfuls to enjoy. IMG_1443

I also mowed the lawn this morning, and it looks smooth and lush. But there is a cost… the destruction of a starry spread of pretty daisies and buttercups. Garden life is an inevitable mixture of growth and cutting down.


Life often seems to be this muddle of disappointment, compromise and worse.  We spent a lovely few days with friends this weekend in London. We watched the amazing spectacle of the Trooping of the Colour, wandered the parks, ate ice creams and saw the sights in the sunshine. We cruised on the Thames and enjoyed good food and each other’s company. But the darker side to London life was revealed with the news of the terrorist attack on London Bridge and the shadow of this and previous terrorist attacks was never far from our awareness, not least because of the presence of so many armed police.

C’est la vie is an expression which usually conveys a necessary acceptance of disappointments and times when life is not neat and tidy. Times when it is hard to reconcile the minor paradoxes and contradictions of life beyond our control, such as woodlice in strawberries.

But for me the contradictions and horror of terrorist attacks aren’t so easy to just accept and then carry on with life. It is a dilemma which can’t be shrugged off. Is such violence and destruction an inevitable part of life? Or is this a time to ask the question why?  Time to seek understanding and consider ways to initiate change without retaliation? Can there be a resistance to such hatred which does not return evil for evil?

I am still pondering … No easy answers.


6 responses to “C’est la vie?

  1. Margaret Stokes

    The only way forward is not to exchange evil for evil, but it is a very long and winding road, I fear.

  2. It must have been difficult in some ways, to be in London at the moment. Your piece makes us think and I don’t believe we should ever accept anything as a fact of life if it causes such suffering but the greatest victories are won through peaceful means.

  3. Thank you both for your comments. I felt a very strange mixture of emotions in London. So much normality, and yet evidence all around of underlying tension and wariness. Quite scary to see so many firearms being carried, in order to “keep the peace”. It has really made me think about whether the use of such weapons can ever bring true peace and safety or merely attempt to constrain violence?

  4. Nicola Gledhill

    Interesting, and I am no wiser than you on this subject! Glad you enjoyed your time in London, and pleased the garden is thriving, despite the minibeastsx

  5. Nicola Gledhill

    I meant to add that carrying on with enjoying life in our lovely capital is, in a sense, a profoundly positive response to an awful situation. As we go to the polls “c’est la vie” seems positive too. I hope people appreciate and ponder on the privilege of democratic choice, whatever the outcome.

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