I only have two days left in Labastide, and it’s not enough time. When I first arrived, I thought, “Three weeks will be plenty of time to do everything I want to do”, but now it feels like it’s not nearly enough. I don’t know what happens to the days here: I start my mornings on the terrace and before I know it I’m back there, eating dinner by candlelight. Time moves fast.
Part of the problem (though it’s not really a problem at all) is that I can’t walk through the village anymore without running into someone I know. In the first weeks I would just smile and wave, now I stop and talk.
People know my routines. If they see a blanket in my hand they will say, “You must be going to the rock.” At the end of the day, someone will ask, “Where did you hike to today?” The residents make an effort to gather together for lunch and dinner, and the other girls and I schedule time to sit in the library and talk.
I write in the mornings and take, sometimes, a hundred photos during the day. I’ve explored this village and the mountains around it inside and out, and yet there’s always more to see. Just yesterday, a villager told me about yet another trail with a great view of the village. I added it to my list of things to do in my last few days, but the list just gets longer and longer.
My days are filled with simple and wonderful things: a hike through the mountains with Filou, a village dog. One of the best cheeseburgers I’ve ever had at a cafe in Carcassonne. A village fête where we ate giant sausages and listened to the villagers singing French songs late into the night. Pointing out constellations on a clear night, as we sit on the terrace and see hundreds of stars.