We walked with our heads wrapped in scarves or shirts, to protect them from the noon-day sun. We were walking from Plum Village to Duras - a journey that would take twenty minutes by car, but would takes us a half day on foot.
Maybe it was a pilgrimage of sorts. The other ladies and I had been spending a lot of time meditating recently, waking each morning to the sound of the bell, and spending each day in contemplation. And yet, it was not so much a contemplation of the future, but of the present moment. And walking like this, sense sharpened, mind focused, I felt like the Earth was a jewel - so bright and colourful.
It was beyond enjoyable, to walk, and look, and talk.
In the middle of nowhere, we happened upon a garden full of roses, lush with foliage, and hidden right in the centre: a treehouse.
Further on, the wheat fields had been rolled into hay bales. And in the distance was Duras, a medieval fortified city on a hilltop. From one end to the other, it is only fifteen minutes on foot.
It was market day, and the main part of the village was awash with colour! Locally grown potatoes, cabbages, carrots and peas everywhere, squeezed between those were olive sellers, lavender soaps and a very pungent cheese cart.
After gathering all the necessary supplies: bread, radishes, butter and cheese, we sat in a park and ate and some of us read poetry from books we had brought in our rucksacks.
ANNUNCIATION (FROM THE GRASS BENEATH THEM)
by mary szybist