Published: May 9th 2009
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Where the Waters Fall

This past week has been full of hard work and dirt under my finger nails. It has been wonderful to get so much done in a matter of days. The first terrace is finally clear of all weeds and is currently being sowed with a number of new sees. It took me two days to clear the land and I turned the soil three times. At moments I was on my hands in knees in the dirt pulling out roots and weeds I had missed on my initial attempts. Now we are ready to go to the second terrace and fill it with tomatoes, potatoes, and onions.
Paul in me finished our work in the chestnut orchard as well. This has been an ongoing task, checking the trees for disease, keeping dry foliage of the ground to prevent forest fires, burning dry wood and saplings that have been discarded, and keeping the new growth at the base of the root systems down so that the newly grafted branches might flourish. Managing a forest is no easy task considering that it involves climbing steep mountainous sides and descending the abrupt inclines into the valley. But the work is complete, for the moment. If it is anything I have learned in my moth here thus far it is that work is never finished. In a few months we will have to manage the chestnut trees again.
When I finish my duties and it feels like a good day for it I find myself wandering in and around Paul�€™s property. I take off on a walk about, as I tend to do, and explore with Aria at my side. The pretty mutt bounds in front of me, behind me, around me and makes attempts to take off ahead of me in a joyful rush of freedom. She loves walking with me to the streams and waterfalls and I let her romp in the water chasing her own splashes as I climb up rocks to get photos of waterfalls. Paul has never counted the number of falls on his property but I believe there are at least six. The waterfalls pour into each other, feeding the rushing stream and tumbling down into the oblivion of open air only to return into a body that flows away as sinuously as a serpent.
I find that these places bring me peace and contemplation. I would stay around listening to their soothing rumble for hours if allowed. I often thought of bringing a book and setting up camp for a day just to spend by a pool fed by one of the falls. There are many places to perch, climb and sit and all the vantage point reveals a thriving forest of greenery. Ferns are bursting forth with their curled fists and spreading their fronds to the sky, frogs are singing down the rain, and birds are joining the symphony with the wind. It is pure magic. Who needs buildings or churches to find god? God is here in all of this and the forest is the most hallowed of any temple, consecrated not with man�€™s efforts but in the rains of April and the mists that rise from the trees. I never knew that France could look like a jungle and the revelation is a fine one.

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14th May 2009

Wow!! Truly heavenly! Can you swim there? Have you? It looks so inviting! Hugs, G

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