The blog saying all the stuff you wished someone would say...™
Photo credit Samantha Eve Yoga and C. Costanzo.
As a child, when I pictured a castle, I envisioned lots of gold brocade, velvet ropes hanging from overabundance of draperies rich colors and tapestries, furniture too fragile to sit on because it's so imbued with history. It’s clean, shiny, inviting, yet majestic. The castle I imagined has servants, and well lit corridors, and large spacious armoires with mirrors to twirl around in front of while wearing my fancy dresses…
That is not my castle…
My castle has a west wing that we are forbidden to enter a la Harry Potter.
It has a doorway hiding a stonecut spiral staircase up to the only remaining tower on the property… Which leads to the best place to catch a sunset on the property…the roof…
It has a large yoga studio in what was the old barn… That can't be used yet because it was going to get cold and we needed to put in new windows… And although we finished the floors, due to the weather, the floors may need to be redone…
Most of the furnishings and walls in my castle are a neutral color almost as though they invite you to fade into them...
Open a drawer or cabinet or book and sun-faded photos fall out, gently gliding to the floor like ashes from a burning candle…some disenegrate on contact as though teasing you with a glimpse of the past…”Quick! Notice me before I am gone…”
My castle has a scandalous history involving a Lady of the Court and the King… Possibly an affair that leads to a dismissal… But it's not his money - the King’s money - that builds this castle… It is hers. Which is a feminist fairytale worthy of getting the details to you at some point…
In my childhood fantasy castle I have an enormous room with a bathtub large enough to be a swimming pool and both morning and afternoon sunshine.
In my castle the first room I am in is the smallest room almost, which has soft light that enters in the morning into my favorite seat… Where I listen to the birds in the evening just before I close the windows shut tight. The bathroom is down the hallway and a split into two rooms very European style. The toilet is in it's own room. And the shower and washing up room are separate. My second room is bigger and brighter with creaky floorboards and the occasional bat that flies in if I don’t get the enormous windows shut at just the right moment prior to sunset.
In my castle there's no insulation between the floors and so (from my first room) I hear my host snoring each night. He teases me that it is his revenge since I wake up early and I go to bed in the early hours of the morning and despite being light on my feet, I am sure he can hear me practicing yoga or walking around. So he is welcome to snoring, and I wear my headphones and listen to the rain app at night.
My fantasy castle is in the middle of a bustling town with market days, people who throw open their wooden shutters to sing out “Bonjour” a la Beauty and the Beast…It is on a hilltop and has views of the valley, with more bikes and horses (where we will keep them I don’t know since the barn is now a yoga studio) and almost no cars…
My castle is isolated.
The closest town has 64 voters in it. And I can walk the entire thing in less time than is taken to write these few paragraphs. But nearby there is the town of Lectoure whose Farmer’s Market on Fridays is a delight. The streets are full of picturesque moments. Already I have a favorite grocer and favorite Boulangerie.
Likewise on Tuesdays in the nearby town of Fleurance is another Farmer’s Market. There I bought the most succulent dates, dried prunes, and more dates (there were two distinct kinds....mmmmmmm). I also somehow left with three melons instead of the one that I was attempting to purchase.
C'est la vie.
I was eating melon for breakfast, lunch, and dinner but considering how deliciously juicy they are, I can certainly think of worse things to eat. I also found another boulangerie which had fabulous bread and a kind person who didn’t grimace while listening to my broken French. And how could I forget the local honey man who - using a emphatic universal sign language - somehow conveyed to me that the honey I was buying was from a nearby forest. Hopefully it will help me since I've been having allergy attacks for the first time in three years (mostly due to the dust from the castle renovation and the two castle cats who - in the middle of the night -love to try to snuggle since I'm the only one awake and in the common room). Being vegan, honey is the one exception I am able to make in my diet because it doesn’t hurt my stomach and I would rather try it, than pills.
My fantasy castle had long dining room tables filled with gleaming silverware and endless bounties of food.
My castle has a much smaller table, covered by a rather loud tablecloth and brightly colored plates. But the food is better than I could have imagined, and prepared lovingly buy two of my castle mates… A kind couple who do not throw me out of the kitchen when I come in to chat, ask questions, and soak up the ambience of two people who obviously care so much about each other…
In my fantasy castle there is a king.
In my castle we have a patriarch - Michel (pronounced me-shell). He rules with a gentle hand, twinkle in his eye, and generous pours of wine at dinner time. He is also a brilliant man who speaks seven languages, is well-traveled, cares about the future of our planet, and loves his family dearly and ferociously. I think we that are here, this last crew, may be becoming his family too… Although I don't know if it's because he loves us so much, or if it's because we all love him so much. I have this feeling that Corsica, his home, is maybe getting some friendly yogi volunteers soon who all are there for the sole purpose to visit this kind man.
In my fantasy castle I have endless amounts of time to explore…
But in my castle, my time here has drawn to an end…and I have already moved on to my next adventure, the next destination, the next stop on my journey through Europe and life.
Yet a piece of me has now seeped into the walls of this castle, my castle, and will forever be here to welcome guests with a warm smiling and loving heart. After all, I am now a part of the castle story too…
See you on the mat…with smiles…
About the blogger
Hi! I'm Samantha Eve aka Tink - a kick-a$$ girl boss, party-til-dawn, warrior princess of a yogi, vegan, free-spirit, dancer, model, teacher, coach who - whether rocking a power suit or lingerie, lives life to the fullest.