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A gloomy afternoon, dim with winter. Reflections on a struggling year that is almost gone. Where I found myself in need of a mental and physical reset.

Here’s what happened.

Thomas and I started 2022 alone. Thomas went on a long-anticipated retreat abroad and I stayed home, resting in stillness. As I was tuning into my needs – solitary walks, reading big books, trying to figure out the best treatment for my aching hands – out came fear, sadness and overwhelming fatigue. Of course, I wanted to believe that the tears were not about me, that I was processing the pain of the world. Poor porous me. But truth be told, in the absence of the hyper-activity that comes with a towering château restoration, I could not but face the mess inside.

I was never afraid to disappear for a while. From Lescure. From us. To see what comes when you’re just observing the beating of your heart. But upon his return, Thomas and I had to navigate intense feelings of disconnect. A totally natural part of being in love for a long time, the proverbial ebbs and flows, but terrifying nonetheless. The building blocks of our lives were called into question; our relationship, our work together, the purpose and future of Lescure, that demanding mistress who has swallowed our hearts.


Back at work on the estate, I intuitively began every morning with a prompt. Wondering what wanted my attention. What beauty I was creating or inviting that day. No more thoughts of the future, merely attending to our personal needs, those of the house and the land in the moment. There’s something magical in tuning in to the energy you feel and letting it guide you. It reminded me of lockdown, which slowed down our progress, but also took the pressure off.

So, Thomas hummed songs on his excavator, allowing himself to landscape around the baking house and build a new drystone wall. I treated myself to a decorating frenzy and painted rooms and hallways with homemade paint. During the hot and dry summer,  the land needed our help, so we spent months installing and finetuning an irrigation system under trees heavy with exhaustion. And we closed off the working season with an autumnal leadership retreat for a team of beautifully brave souls. I hosted it with my heart!


Here we are, offering gratitude for what we’ve learned and what we’ve accomplished. And for our love and life together. I’ve regained a degree of balance and stability. Clarity, not so much, but that’s fine. I’m starting to accept that I am on the path of the unknown. And our French mistress? She has never looked more beautiful, at ease in her mature skin, relaxed and gentle. I revel in her beauty as she is teaching me to be in all of life, in the pain, in the chaos, and in the joy.

With the latter in mind, I wish you and your loved ones a very happy holiday season. Let’s celebrate life and unleash our joy!


  1. Mesmerizing BEAUTY Véronique. The fragrance of life coming through your words are sweet.

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