(Our second guest poster is Cynthia, from Bellingham, Washington, just south of the USA/Canada border.)
Mother Earth must be laughing -- our brief stay at Le Couvent, June 1-2, coincided with the wettest spring weather in the Languedoc in nearly 60 years. No strangers to rain ourselves, coming from the Pacific Northwest corner of the United States, we had hoped for a glimpse of the sunshine that the south of France is known for, particularly as we'd had a very cold and wet spring.
We were sure that the weather in Roujan would be milder and more conducive to walking and exploring tiny villages than what we'd experienced the week before in the foothills of the Massif Central, where a memorable thunderstorm and nearly incessant rain kept us indoors.
As we entered the gate of Le Couvent, Ali and Lizzie met us with the warmest greeting we have ever had -- and big umbrellas, as yes, it was raining on the plain, too. But we really didn't mind.
In a lovely old building that radiates serenity, we reveled in our simple, supremely comfortable bedroom, hundreds of books, eclectic art, marvelous local food, delightful fellow guests, and most of all, Ali and Lizzie. We arrived as guests, but after that heartfelt welcome, we were family, and their home was our home, with its heart in the kitchen. Gathered around the long table, enjoying the extraordinary Le Couvent breakfast or an aperitif in the evening, we laughed, shared our stories, and were at peace.
And in what surely was a miracle, sandwiched between two thunderstorms and drizzle, we had a couple of hours of brilliant sunshine! We saw Le Couvent literally in a new light, spent time in the delightful pool and garden, and knew we would have to return.
The real souvenirs of travel are not tangible -- they are the remarkable people like Ali and Lizzie, Renaissance women with hearts of gold, who become part of our lives forever.
(Sent from Bellingham, where it is still raining…)