Thursday, October 10, 2013

Thanks again to all of you who have said HI!
I have missed a few days becos when we got to our new abode in La Hourne, we found that the phone and Internet had been knocked out by a big storm off the Cevennes Mts., which we face. Sind the town consists of only about 5 very ancient farmhouses, it does not appear to be a very high priority for getting fixed. . .tho I think eventually.
We live in a very charming but very old farmhouse. . .thick walls, about 400 years old! It is delightful now but will be cold by the end of the month and only one small wood stove to heat 3 floors. Our neighbors are very friendly and delightful. There is a wonderful wooden terrace in front of the house that faces the mountains where we eat our meals. The silence is profound. Right outside the door are endless trails through thick forest and spectacular vistas over the valley to the mountains. We have only just begun to explore. On Tuesday, we went to another part of the nearby forest to explore the "dolmens," ancient places of worship, mostly made of circular piles of rocks. The first felt like a kiva; the second grouping was in 3 contiguous circles which reminded me of Chaco. We sat with all the places and they were full of gifts. Further down the trail, we found 3 contiguous rock circles around trees. We found there the same spectacular Light that is in the birthing cave in Utah--a place for coming and going. It all felt so enchanted, with memories that felt like something out of the hobbits. . .ancient councils of men and elves.
We tend to finish our days by winding down to Anduze for coffee. I seem to be able to eat all things here that I cannot eat at home without consequences. Very strange.
Wednesday we drove to the Aude, Cathar country. It is so beautiful here; I barely have words for it. After getting lost in Narbonne and then Carcasonne, we made it to the home of Stephen Marcus and
Barbara Kroll, two of the most gracious people ever. They gave us a huge feast and made us so totally comfortable. A million thanks. They also helped us figure out the terrain and find some of the many local treasures. We would have had a hard time without their aid. Today we went first to Renne le Chateau, which for me was a place of total perfection. The physical beauty of the town, the spectacular vistas, the gently meandering streets and most of all the little church, where Mary Magdalene is honored. Kathryn, Coral and I all spent a long time there, with our eyes closed. Went back a couple of times. I could have spent days there. I feel like I was given the gift I came to France for and I am very grateful.
Then it started pouring, but we went on to Peyreperteuse, the Cathar castle to which I was most drawn. Despite the pouring rain and wind, we hiked up to the castle (after quite a long ride on very windy mountain roads) and I felt so at home there. I felt like I knew every stone. This was truly the one castle I was meant to visit and I feel very complete. Tho I am sure we will see more tomorrow. Nothing compares to these places so high up they touch the sky. They are full off serenity, despite the terrible massacres. Peyreperteuse was known as the "celestial Carassonne.'
Everyone else in the house is asleep, and now I should join them.  

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