To the seemingly trapped. To those who feel lost and lonely. To the victims of heinous hands, malicious mouths and unmerciful minds of ignorance, know that this wondrous place is yours. It is not a mirage or magician's hoax. It is indeed a splendid, unencumbered and tranquil place that, after some restoration, continues to stand in form and folklore.
Originally, in the late 18th century, it was home to a farming family. A young French couple who wished to raise their boy and girl safe from tyrannical kings, queens, nobles and revolutions. This may sound familiar. Following this admirable instinct, in a faith filled wagon, they added few and modest belongings to begin searching for their dream existence. A corpse filled and blood stained river, revealed by the light of the virtuous sun and moon, unfailingly guided them south. From a village near Orleans, they chose to head opposite the flow, along the banks of the Loire, deeper and deeper into the heart of the country where no chateau was left unscathed by the rebellion. Their exact final destination was unsure. All they were certain of was that they did not seek confrontation, just a simple place, one that would support the ideals of liberty, equality and fraternity. On this land is where their wagon stopped.
Over the years, their happy home, grown children and productive farm proved testament to the power of their faith and love of nature. They raised a herd of Charolais cows, chicken and a few donkeys. They harvested a variety of vegetables and flora, including a modest field of maize, poppy and sunflower. An invincible faith in freedom and the love for the splendor that rises from righteous imagination and intention took root here. Although more than two centuries have past, it is evident by the glow of this mystical place, that the light of their faith and freedom continue to shine.
Each time I walk past this house and shed, in the splendor of the surrounding environment, I become more keenly aware of my breath and blessings. A sensation of gratitude overwhelms me. When I hear the distant little voices and sense the sounds in the neighboring forest of Troncais, the bees and Picidae by day, the owls and crickets by night, the beetles, snails and slugs endlessly pulling themselves forward, through the labyrinth of grass and mounds of pure earth, I feel the tips of my fingers and hair follicles tingle with indubitable humility. This place I share with you is a heavenly phenomenon, yet today, many humans might simply call it a pretty farm. It is not an image or romantic fable for the sake of fleeting entertainment. Yes it may resemble the set of a Hollywood movie or Broadway stage play but I assure you there are no tickets, popcorn or programs to buy at this location. Everyday, since discovering it, I keep this authentic scene close to my heart. For those times I slip and fall in rivers of regret and on tear soaked streets, bearing not only my name. I clutch it close, as I would a lifelong friend, for those dire moments I forget what life truly looks like. And so, my desire is for you to have and keep it close too, in your 'back pocket'. Refer to it whenever you need. Let it encourage you to raise your head and dare to look-upward, knowing that your wishful eyes are safe and sound here. This place is yours. Farm on it. Play on it. Explore and create on it, as the faithful family would have welcomed you to. Rest assured that it remains secure from the woeful plague of politicians and goons who drape themselves in costumes that pretend to symbolize justice. Remember this place was created by people who sought liberty, equality and fraternity. They have found and left it for those who wish to follow in their hearts desire.
No matter what spiritual, physical or emotional barrier you may ever face, may this wondrous place show you reason and resilience to smile and shine in the faith of freedom.