Many think about it; you have made it, more precisely you are at the beginning of your life change. All members of the same family, in a small green corner of Haute-Marne, they wager a happy decline.
It always starts with a crazy idea. Then the idea comes closer and becomes a wish. Eventually, when the time is right, it becomes a project.
The project of the Collin family, the three brothers, their families and their father is to live in the countryside. But not for the trendy side, no, for a total return to nature, for independent and direct consumption and, paradoxically, in rural areas for the rediscovery of social ties.
Here are three good reasons to watch Chloe Hunzinger’s documentary The Project of Their Lives: Beginnings. The repeat can be found a little further away.
Depending on the vagaries of life, it can happen that you want to give up everything for another life. A life closer to nature, slower, more fantasized more beautiful. This idea can tickle more than one, of which you can be one.
The three brothers of the Collin family weren’t just tickled by the idea. François first explains: “I started getting interested in things related to ecology about ten years ago. (…) It should maybe be closer to nature in my way of life. It will allow me to be more logical with my ecological approach, more autonomous in terms of food and energy“. He adds : “As we discussed this with Dominique, we found a common ground, a desire to tackle a more resilient project“.
They considered changing their lives and returning to nature.Christian, father of three brothers
And where many stop at the beautiful dream, the beautiful utopia and return to their everyday life for lack of drive or resources, the two brothers plunged head over heels into the adventure. With the youngest of the siblings, Jean-Luc, they acquired an isolated farm near Fayl-Billot in Haute-Marne and gradually left jobs and homes in Alsace.
Christian, their father, agrees, slightly concerned: “One day the sons told me that they were going to change their lives and go back to nature. It’s pretty much in line with what they’ve experienced before.”.
The strength of François Dominique and Jean-Luc’s project is that they wanted to do it as a family. Dominik explains:It’s a project that we could have done with friends, each of us, but we chose to do it together“.
Her father Christian immediately sees the pitfalls: “It takes a big gamble because living together is still a gamble. It will take some effort.” Her children also have reservations. Inès, daughter of Dominique and Isa, confides: “We all get along very well, so it would be sad if there was a bit of a war at the family level. Corn”she calms down,”there’s such a complementarity that it won’t happen”.
It’s up to youInès daughter of Isabelle and Dominique
Of course, there are some reservations, as expressed, for example, by another daughter of Isabelle and Dominique: “One of my daughters told me that leaving her was very selfish (note: for the project). So she doesn’t want to come to the farm at all.” Inès, older than her sister and maybe amarée, sees it differently: “We have seen a change because my parents are on the farm a lot more. If it makes her happy, it makes me happy too. It’s up to you“.
As for François, he says it brought him closer to his children: “I don’t live with my children; You are tall. If there’s one place I enjoy being with them, it’s here. We do things together; There is a real exchange that I rarely have with them. That’s a side benefit that I didn’t incorporate at the beginning. If there was only one reason to do this project, it would be enough“.
Far from seeing it as an extra effort, the three brothers learn to turn it into a strength. The wives are quickly convinced andinterested persons“. The roles are divided, as are the spaces. Every decision is the result of exchanges, discussions and compromises: the foundations of community life. And Jean-Luc, who has not yet settled in the places, takes on his role as mediator hearts : “If there may be tension, because it’s inevitable, since I have perspective, I can calm it downEveryone finds their place in this sanctuary.
This “return to earth”, this ecological vision of cheerful sobriety dear to Pierre Rabhi, could be at the heart of the Collin family’s project. And be self-sufficient. Nothing yet. That’s not enough for them. François, the eldest of the brothers, is delighted: “We are at the very beginning of something new. A beautiful utopia. The desire to have a sober and cheerful place. And why not a place of school, of sharing, of experimentation; it’s a start“.
Jean-Luc, a bit skeptical at first, is gradually seduced by “this way of life that leads to a greater respect for nature“. The teacher – he is attached to this term – sees himself as a mediator of values:”Can raise children’s awareness of many things, especially respect for the environment, ecology (…) light a few lanterns“. Activities that they imagine rooted in the Haute-Marne territory.
What can we bring into the building as stone?
To do this, they present their project and begin to branch out their network while respecting rural approaches. Her credo:We already feel involved in what is happening in the village. What can we bring into the building as stone?“They also take great pride in their knowledge of the vernacular:”We know a few words (note: in Haut-Marne-Patois) that the Alsatians don’t know, like Godin (note: made) or it picks up. (Editor’s note: which could be translated with a known “he takes a good one” implied slap in the face. See: Research on the history of the language and dialect of Champagne / by Prosper Tarbé).
Dominique is surprised: “We’ve had some great encounters; we discover. It differs from the urban environment. Someone says “I’m coming to visit you” and then suddenly someone appears in your garden and we don’t know how long it will be. we still visit each other here as we did as children and we wanted to ring our friend’s doorbell. There is no agenda; It’s really great“.
Wanted from the start by Dominique”as a place of welcome, very open to making it an eco-place”, They thought “also organize a festival in the inner courtyard or receive artists in residence…“A series of ideas that keep flowing, a dynamic that oscillates between hopes and fears, optimism and doubts that puts all the salt in their adventure.