The Gift

We are each other’s, harvest. We are each other’s business. We are each other’s magnitude and bond. Gwendolyn Brooks –

Fallow fields in Jégun, Gers

During the Middle Ages most villages had three fields of farmland. At any given time, two of the fields grew crops while the third lay fallow. The fallow fields would be rotated every year because the farmers knew the soil needed time to rest until its’ organic matter decomposed into life-sustaining nutrients. The health of next year’s harvest depended upon this rich, invisible choreography beneath the earth’s surface. The same applies to us. As the Buddhist psychotherapist and teacher Sylvia Boorstein advises, “Don’t just do something, sit there.”

View from Heux Church

I know a lot of people have a hard time sitting still. They feel they always have to be doing something. If they’re not doing something they feel stressed, anxious and uncomfortable. But sometimes life is uncomfortable, and this year our lives have been very uncomfortable. Sometimes there’s nothing to do but sit with the discomfort and allow it to move through you. Just as with the fallow field, it’s the resting and the sitting that are crucial.

Two cows near Bassous, Gers

Almost every day during the recent confinement, quarantine, I have sat at my desk letting nature teach me her humbling lessons: Fog lifts, clouds break and storms pass, and sunshine always follows the rain. Nature doesn’t hurry. Everything has a purpose. The best things in life are truly free. We have so much abundance and yet we suffer. We love things that die. True communication doesn’t need words. It’s okay to be a human being instead of a human doing. Small things make a big difference. We belong to the earth and each other.

View from Aux Arbeils, Ayziey, Gers

The past year has passed in a blink of an eye, even though some days seemed to drag on forever. We’ve been forced to slow down, face ourselves, our relationships with each other and the world. No one imagined a global pandemic would be the catalyst for sympathetic introspection, but it has altered the fabric of our lives. Though sometimes idle, removed from the routine of our lives, we have discovered what really matters. These past 12 months have not been wasted. In the darkness we’ve found the gift of light. In the silence we’ve found our voice.


As this year of reckoning comes to a close I’d like to express my gratitude to each of you who have followed my blog, enjoyed my photographs, read my articles, and are considering taking a French Country Adventures tour. My goal has been to offer you another way of looking at life.

Madiran Door

To those of you who have lost family or friends this year, I send my sincerest condolences.

View of Aux Arbeils, Ayzieu, Gers

From my home to yours, I wish all  of you peace, joy, good health, and inspiration in 2021. A new turn of the wheel is beginning…

Bonne année.




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