Friday I handed over the apartment keys, last vestige of city life, and boarded the train out of Paris. The end of four decades as city dwellers: living, loving and leaving a succession of homes in Washington DC, Philadelphia, New York, Brussels, London and Paris.
In some ways we’ve “bet the farm” to get here. But more accurately, we’re betting on the farm to get us somewhere else. Sometimes places turn out to be vehicles that help us experience something we need to live. It now appears we need to live the farm.
Of course there’s a pretty side to that: woods, pastures, vineyard, orchard… but I have a strong feeling we didn’t wash up here just for the pretty.
All along this hilltop are vestiges of human intervention. The Druids left lovely hidden altars and protective fairies. The Romans laid vineyards and lasting roads amidst fields of wheat and orchards of fruit. The local church in Juillac is a little jewel of Romanesque architecture.
Today this region is a paradise of all that is good to eat picked off a tree or vine or right out of the ground. The folk are mostly the gentle sort, a rural population who know the land like they know their children, who safeguard traditions and honor their neighbors.
They are the embodiment of that old word, husbandry: caring for the land and her creatures. And they also know first hand that the earth is not feeling so well these days.
So here we are, ending our city chapter washed up in a place where there is a mission brewing. Tides are turning, you can feel some people waking up. If the earth is a queen force, then the worker bees are gathering.