Going to Orient

New Dawn Rose, Orient

Rose “New Dawn” (illustration from the book)

I’m going to Orient next weekend.   This thought has hasn’t left me for the past few days.   It has probably been the longest winter of my life, unexpectedly harsh and un-grounding.   In many regards I know this was necessary, but I started feeling like I was getting stuck there.

I had heard of Orient through Robin, where her dear oncle Skip lived a significant part of his life.   Stories after stories, explaining how much of who she is has been directly influenced by him, she one day brought me his memoirs: “In the Garden with Charles“.   It joined my pile of books for a little while, until the possibility of going up there for a weekend was brought up.  I started reading the memoirs out of interest for Robin, but soon developed a strong attachment for the story itself, finding myself canceling plans to read more of it.

It is the story of a peculiar man who has a hard time finding love and meanwhile devots himself to his garden.  Later in life he finally meets his partner Charles, with whom he shares the same passion.  Beside a really well written and paced story, I admit that the thought of meeting these characters and places in real life feels a bit surreal.  As if I was about to enter a closet and end up in the book myself.

It also brings a lot of memories from my mother’s house and garden – the place I call home.   Situated in a village in southern France, where life is simple and time stretches, it is a place that brings me a deep sense of peace and strength.  In any season and regardless of the weather, my mother is outside taking care of the garden.  With time, the fruits of love and labor have bloomed and what was a simple piece of land was transformed into our magical realm.

jardin_couhe jardin_couhe_2


I haven’t been home in too long, and I miss the beauty of the garden.  But I am going to Orient next weekend, and this very thought has started spring for me.