Bomal

Marie and Chloé, Bomal-sur-Ourthe, Belgium 2013.
Marie and Chloé, Bomal-sur-Ourthe, Belgium 2013.

I haven’t been back to Bomal in a long time. Bomal is a village in the Belgian Ardennes, but for me, it’s a house, first. That of my godmother Jacqueline who devoted her life to caring for others. During times of war, as well as peace, she took in children, fugitives, old folks, lost dogs without a collar. Bomal was the scene of unbelievable human dramas but held its moments of grace too, like this instant of kindhearted benevolence between Marie and Chloé, grandnieces of my unfaltering godmother.

Il y a longtemps que je ne suis plus retourné à Bomal. Avant d'être un village de l’Ardenne belge, Bomal, pour moi, c'est une maison. Celle de ma marraine Jacqueline, qui consacra sa vie à s’occuper des autres. En temps de guerre comme de paix, elle recueillit enfants, fugitifs, vieillards, chiens perdus sans collier. Bomal fut le théâtre de drames humains invraisemblables et de moments de grâce aussi, comme cet instant de bienveillance entre Marie et Chloé, petites-nièces de mon infatigable marraine.

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