As the treeline begins to emerge from the plunged darkness that surrounds the village, I vehemently make my way to my favored elder. A venerable, lone willow, encircled by hundreds of oaks, cypresses and larch. It’s lithe trunk peppered with ancient wrinkles that have withstood generations, wars and the mercurial moods of man; and still it extended a low branch to invite those brave enough to pass through it’s ticklish beard and climb it’s peak.
Beginning my ascent, a shrewd rush of numbing wind demanded I abandon my endeavor but peering thru the willow’s bladed leaves, I catch a glance of the blue waves that carve into the valley and stopping just short of Margaux’s place.
With the crackling of the bark, the biting draft and the scent of freshly cut olive trees in the nearby farm of Monsieur Gaspard, I push thru; goading me to meet Saint Rémy.
The willow eventually parts a clearing once I acquire enough cuts to warrant questioning from mother and the visage before me invokes something I believe felt in another past existence; something not yet come to pass but perhaps soon seeing how war is imminent. Is it dread? Fear of everything no longer existing?
I begin to purge these dark thoughts by inhaling the night’s colors. In this self-induced trance, I breath in the swirls of stars that embrace the sky, bask in the southern moonlight, dance on the spire of the Basilica while Deux Arabesques plays in the cobblestone streets, having the intrepidity to knock on that oak door and court what cannot be but on this starry night, I will it to be.
A flutter of wings stir me awake and while the town is still before me, somehow I feel like I’m seeing France for the last time.