We woke to rain this morning. It pounded on the terra cotta tiles and gushed down our tiny steep street. The down pipe from our neighbour’s house empties straight onto the cobblestones next to our front door. I shoved towels against the door to soak up the overflow.
I wrote at the dining room table which looks out to the Luberon Mountains. Even a stormy sky is mild here, a blanket in tones of grey, as if it’s being careful not to frighten the old ladies in the village.
By lunchtime it had stopped raining so we decided to walk along the ramparts and back into the village. I took my camera so you can come too.
But it’s the archways, gates and doorways that draw me. Portals to the unknown. The fact of them existing at all heralds the idea that something important or extraordinary is through them.
Despite the threat of rain we followed a path which led out of the village. Trees covered in ivy that we couldn’t name closed in over us. Mushrooms or toadstools, we couldn’t tell the difference, bubbled up along the edges. Vine leaves had started to turn russet. We saw a lizard striped like a tiger we couldn’t identify.
Can you belong to a place if you can’t name the things you find there? Can you write about a place convincingly, truthfully, if you can’t be specific enough to make your reader picture then exactly? These are the questions I’m grappling with as I write. What’s interesting is that most of what I’m writing circles back to home.
We turned back and around a corner there was the village in front of us, across a small patch of vines.
We walked back through the village to our door. If you come tomorrow in the afternoon and I’ll show you the house. We’re off to the farmer’s market in Gordes in the morning and I’ll buy us something delicious for afternoon tea.