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moving on, missing Sarah

I left Gordes today with a load of sadness; Sarah will not be there waiting to hear all about it when I get home. The last thing I wanted today was another stage of the journey; I’d have given anything to get on a train to Paris to connect to a flight to Canada. However, not for 3 more weeks, so I will just have to endure more time in the south of France.

Last night Lynn and Denis and I said goodbye in spectacular fashion: my mother offered, as my birthday present, to treat the three of us to a meal. They chose the Ferme de la Huppe, where we sat outside, of course, with Diana Krall playing softly in the background. The meal was sublime. We all had the menu, which started with zucchini flowers in a batter as light as the flowers themselves, followed by braised duck or fish with a superb bottle of local wine, and then a caramelised apple tart. It was simple, the plates were not overloaded, and every single taste was perfectly delicious. I hope Mum won’t mind the bill. It was a wonderful way to say thank you to a couple who have been my hosts for so long.
But moving on is a good thing. Lynn told me this morning that she has gone through 9 litres of olive oil this month, not to mention the massive quantities of vegetables, sausages and fruit. Though they love summer visitors, these people need a break from hungry mouths, except their own. So I set off after a last fast walk down the country lanes with Lynn and a last lunch, the usual, melon, eggplant/tomato/zucchini stir-fry with grilled meat, five or six cheeses with Denis’s fresh brown bread, and a chocolate ice cream confection. Get me out of here before the extra kilos are permanent.
An amazing ride in a train like a playpen – I sat on a comfortable bench with my legs extended – and in less than an hour, here’s Montpellier again, where five minutes from the train station there’s an empty apartment to which I have the key. Where I am right now. It’s great to be back in a city; everything is five minutes away – the fabulous bakery, the up-to-date movie theatre – and for once, it’s not scorching. This morning and yesterday, in Gordes, we awoke to clouds and even rain, which quickly dispersed into a haze of heat. But even here, though the sky could not be more blue or the sun more present, there’s a welcome breeze.
I’ve done my tour. I bought my train ticket for the on-going journey Wednesday, checked the schedule at the multiplex and found several films I’d like to see, bought a demi-baguette of that great bread, sat at a café to have a glass of rosé and read the International Herald Tribune, stopped on the main drag to hear four French music students singing madrigals in stunning four part harmony, went over to the tourist centre to see what’s happening – tonight a free outdoor showing of the movie Hair at 10 – and popped into Monoprix to join the crowds shopping for dinner – salads, fruit, wine, whatever you want, it’s there along with a brand new selection of fall clothes in grey and brown. The streets are more crowded than ever; it’s August in France, so the whole country is on the move, not to mention the international assortment of kids with backpacks and the vagrant kids with piercings and large dogs, who sleep on the sidewalk. Honey, this ain’t Gordes no more.
So though part of me would rather be headed home, I think that Sarah, who grabbed life with both small hands and relished adventure, would be happy that I’m going to see it out in style. It’s strange that I was so melancholy all day Saturday, my birthday – surely not just because of my basement problem. I think I’d sensed something terribly wrong in my world. Sarah had gone.
I’m inviting her to come with me on the rest of my trip.

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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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This blog evolves. It once was about travels. Now it’s a reason to be at the keyboard that I value.

Theresa Kishkan
Theresa Kishkan is a writer living on the Sechelt Peninsula on the west coast of Canada.

I walk on. With my feet, and in my mind as well.

Carrie Snyder
Wherever you’ve come from, wherever you’re going, consider this space a place for reflection and pause.

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