Pathways – Villandry

One thing that struck us at Chateau Villandry were the ways in which pathways were lined with trees. The expanses of space were compartmentalized into “rooms” and the walkways often separated these rooms. Here’s just two of those pathways.

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Chateau de Villandry, France

Without question, a highlight of our trip was on the first day of cycling when we saw the gardens of the Chateau de Villandry. For the next few posts, I will show some views, but it is, without question, something you have to see to believe and fully appreciate. The Chateau dates back to 1532, although portions are from as early as 1189. Joachim Carvallo, a Spanish-born doctor, bought the estate in 1906, began the return of the gardens of Villandry to the style of the Renaissance and his descendants have continued that process.

This first shot is of the main garden areas. There are gardens beyond all of the outlying stands of trees and shrubs as well.

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This is an actual selfie, we are not standing in front of a display. The gardens are “live” behind us!

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This shot was another fluke – as all shots of flying bees or birds tend to be for me.

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Love in Paris

For eleven days, my hubby and I took a trip of a lifetime – a cycling trip through parts of the Loire Valley and a couple of days in Paris. So many wonderful moments and memories.

One of the interesting spots we came across was the Pont des Arts bridge in Paris. Apparently the weight of the locks is compromising the integrity of bridge. It’s a challenge, in the city of love, to ask people not to demonstrate their love through this symbolic action.

Like much of Paris, the enormity of this site is hard to put into words.

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Living each moment

Back in February, I posted about Living in the Moment. That day was memorable and remarkable, reminding me to enjoy that moment.

Today, I am reminding myself – and everyone – to fully live each moment.

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I learned recently about two amazing people who have each been given a challenging cancer prognosis. Both are women who have inspired, impressed and impacted me.

One is the mother of a friend, and although I have not spent a lot of time with her, our few interactions proved to be memorable, uplifting and showed how impacting a sense of humour can be. Her son, one of my husband’s best friends growing up, has all of the best parts of his mom and it is through him that I know how much of an influence she has had on the world of her family.

The other person is someone who truly shaped who I am as she knew me when I was first married and beginning in the world of work. Funny does not even begin to cover her deeply intelligent, sometimes ridiculous, sense of humour. Some of her best bits of advice still frame my interactions with the world – telling me that my hubby might not actually read minds and I need to TELL him what’s wrong; remembering that people generally talk before they think and so you need to not assume they have either heard you or mean what they say; and yes, Ed Grimley imitations are an excellent way to break up a boring afternoon at the office.

The only thing I know for sure is this: I have been given so many gifts in my life – friendship and family and work and now this amazing opportunity to go to school, to deal with this ‘unfinished business’.

Perhaps it’s my age, perhaps it’s the situations these women are facing – whatever it’s about, I’m feeling philosophical. And I am feeling so lucky but more than that, I am feeling inspired to live every moment. Get up and get the day going. Really be present and appreciative.

Yesterday, as I walked on campus, I took a picture of the blue sky. It was a beautiful blue sky.

I handed in an assignment in my religion class – the (required) assignment was to plan my own funeral, integrating scholarly sources and funeral rituals we had learned about in class. It definitely was a learning experience. Something I found really stuck with me:

“I will seek [hope] in the certainty that I will not be abandoned to die alone; I am seeking it now, in the way I try to live my life,so that those who value what I am will have profited by my time on earth and be left with comforting recollections of what we have meant to one another.”

 

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Living each moment