Friday, September 12, 2008

Bridge over untroubled waters

Chroniclers tell us that the Bourne at Pont-en-Royans once flowed red with blood during the so-called Wars of Religion of the 16th century... as if Man's quest for God and existential meaning might be a valid pretext for bloodshed (which I refuse to believe). Today, the Bourne is calm and peaceful, joyful like a young puppy, wise as a mountain monk, sparkling like a glass of bubbly white Clairette de Die (just to the south of the Vercors), musical in the quiet manner of a Gregorian chant, and as eternal as a molecule of DNA. I'm happy to live alongside such a lovely river. But old bridges fall down (except, apparently, in my birthplace, Grafton), and new ones have to be built (if finance is available... which might not be the case in certain badly-run societies).

Mechanical shovels have just destroyed the old bridge between the twin communes of Choranche and Châtelus. Meanwhile, the dainty blue Bourne dances between the old stones and the yellow monsters. We are temporarily stranded from our old-time left-bank neighbors... who can nevertheless drive down to Pont-en-Royans by an alternate route.

I'm tremendously moved when I see how my fellow citizens move mountains and build bridges. The ancient alpine spirit in action.

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