Auvillar1I breathe in the cool soft air and feel the quiet. Even the rooster sleeps. My ankles throb from a day on cobblestone streets but I don’t mind. I am at peace. I am an Auvillar.

Auvillar is a tiny village in the south of France. This is not Paris; It is not a bustling international metropolis filled with busy city folk. This is a small place dressed in nature’s best – coral-colored roses the size of your face, poppies bursting with scent, cottonwood tickling the nose, and the ever-cooing turtle doves.

When you are in the towns square, you remember what Quasimoto saw during the festival and imagine the pagan songs of celebration. When you are on the hill you hear the bell toll and can’t help but be thankful for the beauty of creation around you.

The sweet townspeople, the calming Garonne River, the magnificent flowers – all are poetry.Auvillar_garonne

And then there is the food. I’ve only been here two days and I’ve already eaten an incredible array of delights. Champaigne soup was delicious this evening! Our chef, Fatia artfully designs meals for our little group: Quinoa with a fabulous chutney, tangier chicken, French bread and cheese at every meal – and don’t forget the wine. This isn’t’ Paris. This is Auvillar. And it is heavenly.

Tonight, as the sky fades to black, the poets are tucked in their chambres busily revising and writing in response to all we saw and heard today. One of the prompts during our workshop was – go outside and find an object that you can attach an emotion to. Write about it. Uncover the pure images. Make us touch, taste, feel that emotion, that thing, whatever it is, that beautiful wonderful thing. What to pick? This is Auvillar. All is poetry.