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  • Betty Girardeau

Pure Magic

As we start yet another week of the Covid-19 pandemic, I have decided that my theme for this week will be images of favorite places where I have traveled. Some will come from places I have just visited and others will be from photo workshops. Typically, I don't return to a place I have previously been because there are so many places in the world on my bucket list. But today's image is of a place where I have been blessed to visit three times and hopefully more times in the future, Chateau deGudanes in the Pyrenees mountains of France. Only those of you who have never been there might wonder why I would go back time and time again. Those who have been there probably know the answer. It is one of the most special places on earth, and, for me, has felt like home from the very first time I was there in 2017. Last year I was honored to be a volunteer for a month in late summer, which in many ways was totally different from experiencing the Chateau as a guest. At least for me, when I became a resident volunteer I really felt as though I had become a real part of the history and "fabric" of this magical place. It's an amazing building in the first place, but the semi-remoteness of the location allows those who are there to feel like they have walked into a kind of time warp where time stands still. Even when you are working hard, as I did last summer, there is still such a sense of peace and tranquility. One day slides peacefully into the next day. The walls and surroundings of the Chateau almost "talk" expressing that time doesn't count as much as love and relationships do. And, as I think about it, probably that is a great thing to remember right now, too. The image I am sharing today I hope will give those who have never been there a sense of what I mean, and for those who have been to the Chateau, an evocation of happy memories.

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