le cirque nouveau
May 24, 2012
There was a walk I started recently which I couldn’t conclude – frustrating and unsatisfying although around a beautiful landscape nevertheless. Yesterday I went back and hurrah!! found the correct path to the summit and the view of Lac Salagou. The last stretch was mountain goat territory but nonetheless fine, as the goal turned out to be quite breathtaking. It’s a recent man-made lake and reservoir excavated from the basalt rock formation – the strong burnt sienna tones seen in the image below on another day.
The descent is circuitous but strangely evocative of a journey of discovery. . . . glimpses through vegetated vistas . . . the odd fellow traveller (one with a mountain bike on his shoulder!!) why!! must have read the wrong guide book . . .
. . passing down by The Orgues , fluted and awe inspiring although these formations not as dramatic as those seen here . . .
. . it’s a strange feeling being encircled by majesty and the natural environment – humbling. Ah, Little Prince, what wise words were written for you to speak!
“Good evening,” said the little prince courteously.
“Good evening,” said the snake.
“What planet is this on which I have come down?” asked the little prince.
“This is the Earth; this is Africa,” the snake answered.
“Ah! Then there are no people on the Earth?”
“This is the desert. There are no people in the desert. The Earth is large,” said the snake.
The little prince sat down on a stone, and raised his eyes toward the sky.
“I wonder,” he said, “whether the stars are set alight in heaven so that one day each one of us may find his own again . . . Look at my planet. It is right there above us. But how far away it is!”
“It is beautiful,” the snake said. “What has brought you here?”
“I have been having some trouble with a flower,” said the little prince.
“Ah!” said the snake.
And they were both silent.
“Where are the men?” the little prince at last took up the conversation again. “It is a little lonely in the desert . . .”
“It is also lonely among men,” the snake said.
The little prince gazed at him for a long time.
“You are a funny animal,” he said at last. “You are no thicker than a finger . . .”
“But I am more powerful than the finger of a king,” said the snake.
The little prince smiled.
“You are not very powerful. You haven’t even any feet. You cannot even travel . . .”
“I can carry you farther than any ship could take you,” said the snake.
He twined himself around the little prince’s ankle, like a golden bracelet.
“Whomever I touch, I send back to the earth from whence he came,” the snake spoke again. “But you are innocent and true, and you come from a star . . .”
The little prince made no reply.
“You move me to pity–you are so weak on this Earth made of granite,” the snake said. “I can help you, some day, if you grow too homesick for your own planet. I can–“
“Oh! I understand you very well,” said the little prince. “But why do you always speak in riddles?”
“I solve them all,” said the snake. And they were both silent. Saint-Exupéry The Little Prince