A cloudy sky, the cold, a bit of the seasonal blues. There are few tasks that get me out of bed with a smile in the bleak winter, but the prospect of clearing the thicket on the right side of Lescure’s chapel saw me raring to go. Time to reclaim another neglected part of the grounds!
We get rid of the usual debris, we uproot saplings, we cut, mow and saw. Thomas strides about with the chainsaw, outlining his vision for the future: a natural irrigation system, a greenhouse, a swimming pond. Energised by the hard work, he’s overflowing with creativity and ideas and, as always, I’m reminded that his ambitions are considerably larger than mine.
Meanwhile, I’m trying to make sense of my intuition. They say that enchanted places go on exerting their pull long after the enchantment has vanished. Lescure certainly seems to have called to me all these years ago. Each time we tackle a new part of the estate, I’m affected by what lies underneath. So when we come to a small basin hidden by the overgrown bushes I clamber over it, touching its stone, eager for more than a sixth sense. I crave a physical connection with this place and the people before us. I feel a thrill of exitement, especially when we discover that the fountain’s fixtures are well preserved. The basin had a lucky escape when two large firs fell neatly next to it during a storm.
Since our discovery, I’ve visited this spot many times. The ivy is absorbing the old stones back into nature and for now, we’ve left quite a lot of it. I like the idea of keeping the fountain out of sight, so that you wouldn’t necessarily see it until you came across it by chance. We’ve also allowed for a gently curving pathway with irregular edges and have surrounded it with wood anemones. The white star-shaped flowers will spread like a soft carpet in the years to come, tempting a stroller to come and see.
I know, it’s hard to imagine the romance when things still look this rough. But that’s how life unfolds here. Lescure has a way of temporising our journey as its soul keepers. When we’re ready, these stones will reveal themselves to us.