Monday, June 30, 2014

These old Roman roads


Wandering amidst the American new, occasionally my mind will stray. Back to so much living history, where I can point out with child-like glee that the cardo and the decumanus still form the central arteries of Arles with a bumpy heart-beat boom.

These old Roman roads.


They cross the countryside, still full of the promise of going...


...even when their paving stones, covered in two-thousand years of moss and tears, have been pushed aside. 

Simply reminders now...


...of the many that came before...


...slowly, so slowly...


...at a pace we only know with our breath.


These old Roman roads, joining empires of the mind and yet there are flowers, such bright poppies. 

They too burn in bloom, saying follow me. Follow me. Home.



38 comments:

  1. Gorgeous. And I hope you are on the road home very soon.

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  2. Omgoodness - the first photo looks like a painting!! A famous one, whose painter escapes me....anyone? So beautiful! And mind-boggling to think about how old the roads are (well, everything is) over there - I felt the weight of the history when I was there - in the arena, for example! And I'm noting Judith's observation, too, about your words of "home". Hopefully you feel at home here, but I can see how you are hoping for the road home to France soon as well! Thank you for another simple, beautiful post!

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    1. Merci ma chere Soeur! And I am no Monet (hooweeee!) but maybe that is who you were thinking about? I love his paintings with the poppies and fine ladies strolling in them...

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  3. Heather, once again you have a great post. I especially love the first photo. Are you back? coffee?

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    1. Not yet Judy but thanks for asking...I'll let you know. :)

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  4. So very beautiful, Heather, thank you. We lost our beloved 12 year old spaniel Finney last night. This post has warmed ny heart.

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    1. I am so terribly sorry to hear about Finney's passing, friend. You know how much I consider my boys family and so I understand how you are hurting. If there is anything that I can do please let me know, otherwise know that you will be in my thoughts.
      Gros Bisous and a giant warm hug,
      H.

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  5. Another lovely post.

    I read your posts in Florida, more than a country apart, a world apart. Our oldest known roads are canoe routes of the earliest people in Florida.

    We know quite a bit about from where in Spain the Spanish explorers in Florida came. But I've no idea about the French who had a bigger presence here than I knew before I moved here. From Arles? Had they walked along the Roman Roads?

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    1. What a truly amazing thought Joan, especially as it is entirely possible? Chills!

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  6. Such soft images, and yet the history is anything but soft….how time changes all…..

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  7. Hello Heather:

    "Joining the empires of the mind". What a wonderful evocation of the past which, of course, becomes the present when one finds oneself travelling a road which has, in one way or another, been traversed for centuries. Like you, we love these kinds of connections.

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    1. Jane and Lance, something that I love in seeing the photos of your travels is that you both look perfectly at home wherever you are, as if you had always been there, always been a part of that history...

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  8. Sounds like the route is inching homewards.... The poppies in the field are lovely but they, with the barbed wire, are telling me that this June, 100 years ago, WW1 began. For some of our boys/men, there was no going home.

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    1. Yes, absolutely G. That same scenery was host to such terrible times and yet such wonderful moments too.

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  9. Heather I love this post because you combine poetic prose with beautiful photos :-)

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    1. Thank you Keith! That was what I was hoping to do. :)

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  10. These photographs are so very beautiful. I am surprised that those roads are still there.
    What history, and how I love history. Thank you for this beautiful post/
    yvonne

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    1. I am glad that you enjoyed it Yvonne. And I wasn't exagerrating (for once!) - the decamanus road in Arles was dug up a few years back in Arles and they could see that it had only moved a few inches in 2000 years...

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  11. Must be wonderful walking on these roads...thought you walk already in a new home?

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  12. So very interesting and beautiful.

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    1. Thank you Donna. That is a pretty fly hat you have there! :)

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  13. This is so lovely Heather and that first photo really does look like a Monet. It made me catch my breath. Hope all is well with you. Your comment made me wonder what you're up to.

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    1. Moving forward again Loree but thank you!

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  14. Hi Heather, I'm trying to send a comment but I don't know why I can't. Emiliatre

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  15. It is always a fascinaiting experience to travel on a Roman route. You can feel an ancient atmosphere all around especially at sunset when the sun lenghtens the shadows and the landscape becomes sepia ad in old photos. ..
    Aurelia, Domizia lead to France but remember " all the roads lead to Rome".

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    1. Ahhh, I should have known that you would have said this! ;) And you are right to use that quote too...
      xo

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  16. Yes. Old remnants of Roman roads remind us of empires.Imagination as red as the poppies leads our minds to new destinations.
    New. Beyond the old glories, the old meanings.

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    1. Let's hope so, Edgar, let's hope so...

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  17. Love these old roads, love the fields, love the wild flowers and the poppies, LOVE this post!
    Warmest greetings from the Périgord,
    karin

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    1. Wonderful to hear from you Karin. I hope that you are having a gorgeous Summer!

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  18. When we visited Arles and the Pont du Gard several years ago I felt the weight of history and the almost dizzying sense of suspension in time. We here in North America consider a 100 year old home old. How can we who live where everything is so new possibly grasp that weight unless we return to older lands that have felt the tramp of time?
    The poppies reminded me of an impressionist painting, too. Beautiful photos, beautiful words that evoke a sense of longing and of uncertainty about where home really is.

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    1. Yes, you understood it perfectly and have also beautifully expressed some of the things that I have been pondering while in the States, Lorrie. I miss the old. It's strength is reassuring too.

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  19. The overlapping is one of my favourite things about history. Beautiful post Heather and thank you :-)

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    1. I like the messiness of it - and thank you for the compliment! Coming from you...

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  20. Oh! These poppy photos are just delightful!

    Clare x

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