Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Something like Heaven?

There are moments of discovery while travelling that morph into a slightly out of body experience. Time becomes slippery and the rest of the world beyond what is smack in front of your eyes blurs like the borders of a first kiss. I was so very lucky to have had such an experience while chasing the sun as it set over St. Saturnin Les Apt. I remember long ago reading that the town was a hidden bijou, or treasure, but couldn't for the life of me remember why. I simply was along for the ride as Remi hurtled through the countryside. We had already driven to the farthest points of the Luberon and seen wonderful things, but more of that another day. He was determined to also make it to St. Saturnin, despite the rapidly waning light. It was far from the first time that we have been in such a situation and I can tell you that it is thrilling. Remi hunts light with the avidity of Hemingway on a safari. We saw the chapel, reigning atop the remains of a fortress, from afar. But how to approach and at the right angle? Instinct took him around the side of the village to rise up a cliff on the opposite side. Just when I thought that he had made a drastic mistake while every minute counted, he pulled the Range Rover off road and on to a rocky unmarked piste or path. Down, around, Ben bumping in the back, we came to a halt directly across from our goal just as the light exploded into gold. Amazingly, a small bridge led from our perch across a lake to the long winding road up to the chapel. Here is where time started to let loose as I became lost in beauty. The stone's glow, the gift of black eyed Susan's and walnut tree blooms, the utter quiet as we climbed, alone, to find a chapel of unutterable grace. 

Grace. To be touched by something greater than ourselves. Missing for so many of us, myself included, in this world of noise. How lovely to want to believe, to believe in general, to believe in everything. I could feel my heart. 

Remi and I lingered until the night came on, until we were forced to leave for fear of not being able to find our way in the dark. 

Afterwards I read about the "Rosette Tamier Scandal" in 1852, so named after a young woman who swore that she had beheld tears of blood falling from a painting of Christ in the chapel that we had visited. It was a story that gripped national headlines and yet was never explained, nor disproved.


  1. Wow. Simply stunning, Heather! How wonderful that you get so see such a place, at just the perfect time, light-wise.

  2. I'm glad you had such a great day, and then shared it with us :)

  3. Like heaven indeed, with that amazing golden sunset~tinged light falling on the warm stones. Incredible images.

    And your writing, well, I have expressed before how much I love your way of making it all such a "right here, right now" experience for the reader, but I will say it again! I imagined I was right there in that spot, in my moments of reading.

    Now as for your comment on my post about the stone and timber ~ thank you. I love your supportive comments. And I am thinking, what FLW novel? I have missed this treat! I am going to find a copy of it somewhere because it sounds marvelous.

  4. C'est magnifique !

  5. Merci, everyone! I still haven't gotten the hang of my new camera enough to capture the colors in that sunset--it was just stunning.

    And Virginia, I love knowing that I have a blog friend in Australia. Your design aesthetic is so fresh and strong--I am learning a lot!

  6. Heather gorgeous images!!

    Delightful prose and I would love to read the book, most intriguing!

    Art by Karena

  7. Thank you Karena! That means a lot coming from you!

  8. "Grace. To be touched by something greater than ourselves. Missing for so many of us, myself included, in this world of noise. How lovely to want to believe, to believe in general, to believe in everything. I could feel my heart."

    WOW. The way you put it is stunning!!!

    The photos are breathtaking. It so makes me want to go out on an adventure with you, Remi & Ben!!! :)

  9. Owow these images are heavenly indeed. I cannot imagine the feeling you must have gotten while slowly ascending those grassy stone steps...lush greenery and ancient architecture surrounding your every breathe...amazing what treasure await you on the other side...Incredible experience, extraordinary shots, thanks for sharing!


    Haute Khuuture Blog

  10. Beautiful prose and beautiful pics!!! So proud of my talented sister and happy for the amazing life she has. And glad for the reminder to be grateful for the grace I have in my life instead of sweating all the small stuff!!! Brava, Sister!

  11. How nice to see a comment from your sister. And I was going to say exactly the same thing - beautiful prose and photos! What wonderful inspiration - and that feeling, that there is are possibilities and power - of and in something - in whatever you believe - it's a rare and to-be-savored moment - you captured it so well.

  12. Thank you very much everyone! I am so touched by all of your kind comments.


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