Cast Johnny Depp, Judy Dench, Juliette Binoche and Edward Molina in the same flick, and I will watch it repeatedly. Wrap the entire story in chocolat, and, well, they had me at dark Guatemalan nibs with chiles.

If you’ve seen the movie, you know it’s a tale of a young mother who goes where the wind carries her, a French village in search of its soul, and relationships, relationships, relationships. The independent grandmother whose joy in her artistic grandson is stymied by her rigid daughter. The River Rats whose freedom frustrates the townspeople. The old villager whose shy ways keep him from connecting with new love. The young priest struggling with a powerful parishoner who writes, and rewrites his sermons. (I identify.)  And, oh, yeah, the beautiful confectioner who finds a soul mate in a guitar-playing, door-fixing Depp. It’s her creations that weave them all together during the Lenten season–the very time that delicious indulgences are off the religious table.

The gift of Chocolat is its lifting up of the deep cup I believe we all carry with us. The one that’s ours to fill with spiritual meaning and human experience. Only we know when the right blend is achieved–rather like our heroine balancing ingredients for the ultimate cup of hot chocolate. Which Depp finally admits is his favorite.

I thought this the perfect post for today. Because tomorrow is Mardi Gras–Fat Tuesday. Lent begins on Wednesday. So whatever your personal soul-searching agenda this year, you’ve got time to sniff out a Godiva truffle, or simply unwrap a Dove square…or 10.

And as I once wrote for a Denver chocolatier:

Life is bittersweet.

Except when it’s dark, white or milk chocolate.



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