Monday, October 21, 2013

Lots of rain, yesterday, today and for several more days. . .like something one dreamed about in Santa Fe in mid-summer! The air is so thick with moisture. Everything intensely green, layers and layers of green and every shade of green. I had forgotten that this existed.
Yesterday, we went round and round on the roads to the small mountain village of St. Etienne and then way up the mountain on hairpin turns and semi-washed out roads to the home of Diane's friends: Andree, Nouriya and son Laurent ( a brillian potter). It felt like we had driven right out of the known world, but their home was so beautiful and  comfortable, wih huge picture windows, a flagstone patio and enorous, well-equipped kitchen. They had constructed every last bit of it themselves, including making the furniture. I was hugely impressed. The views of the valley and river below and the sometimes-terraced, sometimes-wild mountains were phenomenal. A piece of heaven, really.
So many people in France live really close to the earth, to the seasons, to the earth's gifts of beauty and nourishment, a way of life which, despite TV and the Internet, is grounded in tradition and adapted to natural cycles and all that such a life demands. . .and it is demanding.
Andree & Nouriya had both studied with a holy man from the Cheyenne River reservation many years ago, which is pretty amazing, since that is where the Chargers live. The man had come to France to set up a summer camp for young people. . .it had 12 lodges. When Andree had his first sweat, he said his life turned upside down and inside out. Obviously, a very strong connection and he loves his pipe. The camp went well, but then the French man who was handling the finances ran off wth the money and the whole thing folded. Very sad. Betrayed again, even here and in modern times.
Andree was having a heath problem, so I offered to help becos they felt like a brother and sister, and there was enough change and success, that I will go back to help Nouriya as well on Wednesday.
They cooked us a fabulous traditional Cevenol meal. Andree is a super chef. Laurent wants to come to Santa Fe and study with NA potters.  They invited us to stay whenever we came back. I am accumulating invitations!!  
Today we wandered around Ales, nothing much to say about that. Tonite , dinner with yet more friends of Diane.

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