Les Terrasses du Barri

In French and Occitane

The name of the street on which Tom and I (and Mocha and Henri IV) live is called Rue de l’Acampadou, which we’ve been told means something like “between the fields and the town.” Our neighborhood is called Quartier du Barri. Opposite our house is a low wall and the stairs to our garden.

Below that, almost all the way down to the stream, L’Aurasse, is a wooded hillside.

Our house is blocked by trees in this picture, but you can see Simone’s house with the blue shutters next door.

When we first came to Cordes, we walked along the road below our house and tried to come up the hillside on some overgrown footpaths. Mocha was so covered in burrs and sticky seeds when we came home from that walk that we stuck to better maintained paths for a good year and a half after that.

One day during last spring’s confinement, I discovered that the paths on our hillside had been cleared. I went down a set of formerly bramble-covered stone stairs just up from our house and found that there was a maze of cleared paths zigzagging up and down the hill in broad sloping swaths.

Some of the paths were left narrow. I preferred those to the wide ones at first.

Mocha and I began to explore the maze of paths. I was surprised at how wide most of them were, as wide as roads. Over the summer, you could hear the noise of brush cutters as the village cleared more and more.

It was a dry summer. The cut grass lay on the dusty pathways. I took Mocha along the paths but all I saw was the wildlife cover that was gone. The paths made me sad.

Then fall came and it began to rain, and the paths became beautiful grassy walkways. I read somewhere that they have a name, Les Terrasses du Barri, and I realized that they were indeed terraces, and no doubt very ancient.

Now that we’re in the second confinement, which limits walking for exercise to one kilometer from home, I’m realizing what an extraordinary treasure is across the street from our house.

Mocha enjoys being off leash.
Sunset is our favorite time to go
You can see how they zigzag here. At the top a house on rue de l’Acampadou is peeking through.
There are a few landmarks. This spring is running now.
It’s just off a a small meadow with rock I like to sit on to meditate.
There are a number of very big trees like this ash that I like to lean on and look up.
This structure was part of the Medieval Festival a few years ago. Wood was stored in it and burned in the small building next to it to demonstrate how charcoal was traditionally made.

The woods are full of foods, like these wild plums, and medicinals waiting to be gathered.
And blackberries.
It’s the end of our walk, but Mocha thinks there are still interesting things to see.
Tomorrow, Mocha.

8 thoughts on “Les Terrasses du Barri

  1. Awesome journey. Thank you for taking me with you!  Happy day!Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone

  2. What a beautiful peaceful life you live! The photos are lovely! Could you kindly send some rain over this way?? Lots of love is sent your way!

  3. We lived across from this undiscovered treasure for 2 years! It’s especially nice in the fall because everything has turned green again.

  4. Hello dear Eve,

    So wonderful to read your essays and immerse myself in your photographs, you are such a gifted writer and photographer.

    I miss you and Tom so much!

    I am back now living in San Luis Obispo, in a beautiful old building on Osos Street. I am thinking you might know the place, it was built to be a Sanitorium and is still known by that name. I am renting a room and there is an amazing gathering of people here. And the house is designed in such a way that there is still a lot of privacy. It is really a beautiful place.

    My latest art project has been to make ‘stained glass’ coverings for my windows, cut from origami paper. Inspired by making snowflakes and Day of the Dead decorations. I remember you making these too! I use glue dots to put them up on the glass, and find if I keep the the edges intact they are easier to put up. My window looks out on the driveway, and a rather tall person can look into my room. There are rather a lot of rather tall people, so I needed a privacy screen.

    Waiting for election results, as you are too. I am so dismayed the election is this close. tRump is such a blight, the putridness will last for a while.

    Anyhow, dear Eve (and dear Tom), here are some pictures of my windows.

    Lots of love

    • Hi Mary! It’s always nice to hear from you. How lucky for you to have moved in the Sanitorium. I’ve always liked that place. Unfortunately your pictures didn’t show up here. You can send them to my gmail address: eveneuhaus@gmail.com. Looking forward to seeing them!

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