A wise woman asked me earlier this year what I would do with a day off to myself. Initially I couldn’t think of anything I would like to do. For most women it’s the same: a day off means a day to catch up with washing, ironing, cleaning, serving. We have become an army of homemakers, wives and mothers - always doing for others and seldom taking time to develop our own creativity. I finally said, ‘Writing. I’d like to write,’ and thus began a journey that has led to Labastide. For many years I have been writing and editing others people’s stuff and now it is time for me. The greatest gift I can give my children and grandchildren is not a body of work, written or otherwise, but a model of more and more becoming.
The walk down had taken only fifteen minutes but it took me an hour and a half to get back. I tried to go off road and navigate my way up the hill by the river and the sound of the bell, but although I walked through beautiful fruit groves: apples, apricots and figs, I got lost. It was hot and not for the first time I was caught in the dilemma of needing to drink and needing to pee. Finally, I found my way back up to the road where I met famous Dutch soprano and author, Judith Mok, walking along singing at the top of her lungs.
Montagne Noir is dotted with crosses, mostly wrought iron set in stone. Shrines by the side of the path where people have set pebbles – requests, longings, prayers. I chose a piece of beautiful brittle amber slate and set it beside the others. A thank you for the gift.