The blue-green waters of the Verdon Gorge, France.


I guess I could call this whole trip a pilgrimage - a long series of journeys to various sacred destinations.

The places I hold sacred are mainly of the Earth: walls of stone, pillars of wood, holy waters lapping at the shore or coursing through the jungle. My temples are often outside.

But here, in the mountains of France, I felt a stirring in my soul, as I walked up the steps to a physical, brick and mortar kind of temple.

The path was rocky, laid out in huge slabs that force your feet to pause as they try and negotiate the jumble of surfaces. I was walking slowly, stopping to look out over the village and valley, or to nod a hello to the statues of Mary on my way up. Several times I bent down to inspect a patch of unruly grape hyacinths, growing from the cracks.

Up there I could hear the cry of an eagle from far above.

At the top of the stair was an opening onto a patio, at the end of which sat a huge, heavy-set wooden door, inlaid and worked with delicate features that belied the weight of the whole thing. It was the door to a church. The door was closed and locked, but the whole affair made an impression on me... the walk, the tiny chapel with its beautiful gateway like a portal into the mountains.

There is something about this mixing of human sacred spaces with Earthly sacred spaces that I love.

I soaked in my surroundings as if I was drinking from an oasis.

That bliss stayed with me all throughout our little pilgrimage in the mountains... over pass, under tunnel, on the crazy roads, in the olive groves and on the cliff's edges... I couldn't stop grinning!



The view of the Verdon Gorge while driving the high roads.
Blue bells growing through cracks in paving stones.
A blue-green snake - the river winds through the Verdon Gorge.
The blue green pool of Sillans La Cascade in the national parks of France.
Sitting on the edge of the Verdon Gorge, looking out over the river far below in the canyon.
The Lake Sainte-Croix of the Verdon Gorge, France.
Violets growing between the stone cracks.
The edge of the canyon - rocky cliffs jut out over a steep precipice.
Small blue flowers growing as weeds in the shadows.
Amazing rock formations in the Verdon Gorge, France. Patterns in the rocks like a wave.
Gates to a mountain shrine, France.
Clear turquoise waters of the Verdon river, France.
The turquoise river runs through the white rock of the Verdon Gorge, on a sunny day.
A mountain temple with standing cypress trees, in the Verdon Gorge.
The beautiful blue Lake Sainte-Croix, on the edge of the Verdon Gorge.