The Writer’s Retreat in Gindou, France

by | Jun 9, 2013


This is the spot from which I write today. It’s been quite an amazing 30 or so hours. Let me share with you how it began…Just a day ago I headed to the juice bar for a healthy green cocktail. I had been a bit under the weather, and a lovely young man made a few specialty concoctions for me. Medicine Man…green goddess..and ginger something…They were delicious! But the best part of the experience was when I asked the concoction creator his name so I could properly thank him. His name was Paris.

‘You’re joking’ I said…for that is where I am heading off to later today…a bit of foreshadowing. Just a bit. I knew that was a sign of good times ahead. The rest of the day went smoothly…a nice ride to Miami International, a comfortable seat with extra leg room…and as I headed to the lavatory on the top side of this double decker flight to Paris, I heard my name called out. Yes, a lovely woman that I know from Yoga in Delray Beach who happens to be from Philadelphia as well was on my flight. What a comfort and a reminder that we are never far from home. I love when these unexpected joys show up!

I am at a writer’s retreat with author Mark Matousek for the week. THere are eight of us…we have not all arrived yet. I am spending most of the day with Polly, a woman I met from Nashville in another class with Mark just this past fall. She is here with her son…sharing this amazing experience of being in the French countryside, in a town of 300 where the traffic consists of a little school bus passing by at 8 am, and a few cars to follow. Those same cars crowd the windy road at 5 o’clock each day. There is not much to do here in Gindou (pronounced Jan-dew)at a quick glance. But I know we will find plenty. It is an opportunity to explore who we are in silence, through our writing…through our spirit (when we allow it to shine through and bask in it’s original glory). I am looking forward to this week. I will send updates and photos as the week progresses. This is my first entry as I wake up from my nap. Dinner is soon. The table is set, the candles are lit. THe birds are chirping and it is peaceful. As I sit here outside at a picnic table under a canvas, I hear the rain lightly begin to tap. It is heavenly.


The couple who own the house where we are guests, Mike and Susie have prepared and hearty and elegant meal as the rest of the guest arrive. In the old stone farm house, where there are literally rainbows in the sky in each direction, we toast with a Kir Royal and snack on olives and nuts. Dinner is a fresh tomato and basil salad, Coq Au Vin, a glorious cheese plate and fresh strawberries. There is lots of wine, laughter, honesty, and listening.


Mark Matousek, the proprietors, Mike and Susie,
and our lovely group…I am smiling behind the camera!