Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Cyberspace to Paris - Part 9

April 4, 1998

We woke up at 11:00 a.m. We had agreed previously that on this first day we would sleep in since I had been travelling non-stop since the morning of April 2.

Immediately we headed to the little island of Mont St. Michel. It was raining a bit and very cold and windy. I asked the parking attendant what time the tide would be coming in. There would be no high tide. Unbelievable! Apparently there is this special relationship between the earth and the moon that determines what our water will do. I forgot to consult with the moon when I made this trip. We really wanted to see that tide come in. We sat in the car and waited for the rain to stop before we walked across the bridge to the island.

Once passed the entrance, we found a little cafe where we quickly ducked in to get waffles and hot chocolate. Something happened at the table, I don't know what it was. Our souls found each other. And then, we started talking and laughing; suddenly we felt at ease with one another and we felt like we had known each other a while.

We headed up the steep climb to the church. We decided to go to the main area where the alter is. Apparently, it is believed that God's presence is just behind the alter. We observed two people who were lying on the cold brick floor, face down, arms spread apart and legs together. They were praying. That image for some reason stays with me.

I had been here 10 years ago and there was a statue of Michael slaying Satan. So Andy and I decided to go find him. On our way, we came across another couple who were looking for the same statue. She was French and he was German. It was really cute because Andy seemed to need to share with this German guy the story of us. Unfortunately, the German did not understand as much English as necessary to get the gist of our adventure. But it was cute watching Andy try.

We must have spent close to an hour looking for this statue. Every time inquired to anyone about it, they kept pointing up. They seemed to think I was referring to the statue that is on the very top of the church. Finally, I found someone who knew what I was referring to. It turns out he was in Paris. I think he was being cleaned up or something. No tide and no Michael. Still, Mont St. Michel is so absolutely gorgeous it's worth it to see it.

As we stood outside the church it rained and then became sunny intermittently. When it rained it was cold and windy and when the sun was shining it would be calm and quiet. I loved this visit to Mont St. Michel.

Andy and I headed back to our bungalow and decided to write in our journals. I decided to write about the events and things we were doing because those things I would forget and the memory of them would trigger the memory of what I was feeling. I don't think Andy understood this, he seemed to be more disappointed that I wasn't writing about my feelings. I think he may have been focusing on his impressions of me and perhaps even of the feelings that he was experiencing; I'll never know as we sort of just decided not to share our separate journals with one another.

Later that evening, we headed to a little offbeat town called Ponterson and we had crepes for dinner. We found a very small place and had a wonderful meal. It seemed to us that we stepped into a place that wasn't frequented by many tourists. It was obviously a family owned and operated eatery; and also very old fashioned. There was a very little area reserved as a bar. Only men were at the bar and a woman was back in the kitchen.

At first everyone was sort of cool towards us. After a while they warmed up to us; I think the fact that I spoke French and Andy tried to speak it helped us earn their acceptance. As we left, the entire restaurant bid us farewell.

Later in the evening, we walked out of our bungalow to see Mont St. Michel all lit up. We talked a lot and went back to our bungalow to sleep. We continued to talk and talk and laughed ourselves to sleep. Andy seemed to be reluctant to call it night, he seemed to really enjoy the conversation but I was just wiped out.

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