Saturday, 23 August 2008

The centre of the labyrinth

stormy in am, but beautiful and sunny now. temps 25

It has turned into a stunning day. We just came back from a walk around the pool, named for Esther Williams, and shaped like a big fish. Then a walk around the perennial gardens. They have sweetbrian roses here. The grounds are sweet-scented, especially in the sun after the rain.

we also walked the labyrinth, which, unlike a maze, isn't meant to confound. Just the opposite. The one here is based on the design found in the Cathedral at Chartres and is meant to be a meditative, peaceful experience. It's in a small clearing in the woods and Michael and I were alone there. We walked quietly around and around, following the path and our own private thoughts. In the centre we met, held hands, said a little private prayer. And kissed.

Then we got lunch. Yum. Corn, lobster and coriander chowder for him, plus half a roast beef sandwich. I had a pear, cardamon and yoghurt cold soup with half a roast beef sandwich.

And we talked about how we could come back. Perhaps next October/09.

The event at the village library was wonderful. People came in throughout since the skies opened and it poured down. Thunder and lightening. Horses aren't allowed out in lightening (wise policy) - and the people didn't want to make a dash for it either...judging for some reason that an author talk might not be worth endangering life and limb.

But by the end the place was packed, and the sun came out, and it felt full of friends. Great feeling.

Then Robin and her mother and father, Amelia and Dan Musser invited us back to their splendid home across the street, overlooking the lake, for a cocktail party. Amazing group of people including at least two Episcopalian Bishops...we call them Anglican in Canada. The Mussers are amazing people - so generous. Then they invited us to join them for dinner at the Grand Hotel. Big round table with wonderful floral arrangement designed by Robin's sister Mimi.

It felt like sitting at the captain's table on a fabulous cruise, and Michael and I enjoyed every moment. Sat next to Robin and we yakked on and on about books. Bliss.

Slept like a baby and woke up with the beginnings of a cold. We're invited to a Musser BBQ tonight at their home, and I think we'll go, but briefly. This makes us sad because we genuinely enjoy their company and I adore Robin...but I don't want to spread too many germs and I'm feeling a little under the weather.

Home tomorrow. Arrive back in Montreal 9pm so won't have time to blog, but will try to do one Monday.

If you ever get the chance, or have a big birthday or anniversary coming up, consider the Grand Hotel. We went to a wonderful talk this morning on the history of the hotel, which was riveting and hilarious...but Bob who spoke said something that struck home and I know it to be true of the great hotels...the Grand, Hovey manor, Royal Crescent in Bath - no one pays that amount of money because of the food or the rooms or even the's the whole experience. They're selling lifetime memories.

This is one trip Michael and I will never forget. The room, the food, the location, the library, the clip-clop of horses...but mostly the kindness.


Life in the Philippines said...

your description of the labyrinth was very nice. i hope someday i can go there and experience it:)

Louise Penny Author said...


Thank you - sounds as though you'd enjoy it a great deal. I think anyone would - but even more if you have a heart for it, and it seems you do.