"Do you think it is ok?" I turned to Remi, hesitating. "I don't know, it is Toussaint..." "Oh, don't worry," he responded reassuringly. "By the looks of things, they will be happy to have a visitor or two."
Toussaint, or All Saint's Day is a serious affair in France. There is nothing of little ghouls begging for candy, no. Instead, families come together to remember and respect. We were on our way to a tiny village outside of Chablis to take flowers to the graves of some of Remi's family when he glimpsed something surprising through the rain and pulled the car over swiftly to a stop.
An abandoned cemetery. The gate was unlocked. A path of grass had been cut back for the occasion but the tombs...the graves...I had never seen anything like it. Nor had Remi. "And we never will again," he added.
Waves of emotion rolled over me as I carefully threaded my way through this forgotten world. My hands trembled. But Remi had been right. I did feel welcomed and not haunted at all but rather deeply moved.
So many lives, so many stories.
There will be one more post in this series. I realize that they are not everyone's cup of tea, that this is a complex subject. And yet it felt important for me to share...especially today when mourning is on many of our minds. By all means, feel free to come back later next week...
With my Best from Arles, Heather