Wednesday, August 27, 2014

A church by the wayside

Trip to Midi-Pyrénées: Day 7

There we were, zipping down a lonely country road between Capvern and Pouzac, on our scenic route to Lourdes. The Pyrenees rolled in the clouds on one side, cows and sheep in new-mown meadows on the other. When all of a sudden, I grabbed Blandine by the arm and yelled 'Stop!' Or rather, 'Arêtte!'

Blandine thought I had a bathroom emergency. But as a matter of fact, I'd just seen this:
A lonely little church in the middle of nowhere. The Pyrenees brooded on dark secrets behind her. Waves of grass lapped at her feet. In hushed silence I approached.

I was intrigued. I went to the door. It was locked.

I went all around.

I went around to the back. The Pyrenees peered over the low stone wall.

I found a cracked window with rusting grills. An ancient notice hung inside. It gave the name of the church: Chapelle Notre Dame de Roumé, in the commune of Cieutat.

It began to rain. I did not want to leave. Blandine said I was being an idiot, and got back in the car. She honked. I turned on reluctant feet. We drove off.

But that little church remained in some recess of our mind. A couple of days later, when we'd done our business at Lourdes, our spidery route back drew us to the church again, almost without us intending to go that way.

This time, it was sunny.

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