“What is your vocation? To be a good person.” -Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 11.5
I once heard a professor in college say, “Travel somewhere new and it’s like reading ten books.” Yesterday, after a day of renovation work on the Lamothe Castle and Farm we’re turning into a yoga retreat center in French Sud-Ouest, I checked out some places on a bike ride. Maybe it wasn’t enough to qualify as a book or so, but it was interesting to read some of the local signage.
One sign provided relevant directions, letting me know Katmandou rests 7,529 kilometers to the right. Good to know, I’m thinking of visiting there on the yoga tour. Not today however, especially on the mellow cruiser bike I’m riding.
Another sign shows the type of fish in the lake I rode the bike to. Can you guess the five different poissons swimming there? Winner gets a gold star and a bottle of the superb local French wine (but it would be nice if you share the wine with me :-)).
On the roads around this rural part of France the cars are not many, but driven fast nonetheless. Yet I love the bike friendliness. Everyone coming up on me slowed and provided lots of room. It’s not always like that back home in the States.
There’s so much to see in the countryside and local villages – Lectoure, Fleurance, Condom, Sant Puy, Auch – we visit for our errands, primarily market and grocery store shopping.
I’ve had requests to also show some of the projects we’ve been working at here at Lamothe Castle and Farm. Here are a few images:
I cut a lot of lumber as our team works room to room.
It’s a huge castle with hidden areas still needing some love, but our team gets at it…
And then, voila!
Above, one room just renovated.
And, below, here’s another!
But it’s not all work all the time here. The neighbors are lovely, dropping by with wonderful homemade treats and other gifts. Tremendous people!
The castle also holds an impressive and massive number of books, several signed by the author:
Organizing all those books in the library will be a future job:
So what if you travel to new places and read books also? Extra credit? 🙂 Last month, while teaching at yoga retreats in Spain, I read a book about Stoic philosophy with writings by Marcus Aurelius, Seneca and others. Their philosophy with an emphasis on doing the right thing, helping others impressed me with parallels to what we learn, practice and share in yoga. Every morning we gather together for yoga practice here. I believe it sets a great foundation for a day of renovation work together as a team, and I am grateful for the opportunity.
We also have Alice, Romain and Capucine’s beautiful daughter here. She is already practicing her yoga, performing an awesome Bhujangasana pose here.
And at dusk, out in the back, dinner! Tonight the cooking was provided by Sandra and Viktor, representing a Hungarian wedding feast complete with music. Amazing!
Finally, just now, sunset. The end of the day in French Sud-Ouest. S’il vous plaît venez visiter.
Love and Peace,