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.