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  • Writer's pictureDiana Scalia

Salome's Garden

Last winter, at the very beginning of my extended stay in Bayeux, I felt a little off-center.


One morning I took a walk to explore my new surroundings, and I discovered that the ancient river Aure runs through this city. At one point, the river widens to welcome ducks for a swim and community. There was a bench just there, for me to enjoy this sit-spot (as my dear Herbalism mentor would call it), so I did just that, on an almost-daily basis.


That connection with nature that I savored with the ducks, with the welcoming trees with heart-shaped leaves just there, with the tiny flowers that bloomed in late winter ... created an experience that was so joy-filled and meaningful to me. I never felt off-center again, and it made Bayeaux all the more precious to me.


Last summer when I returned to Bayeux for just one week, I was saddened to see that an extremely very messy, reconstruction-project-of-sorts was in progress, also to the chagrin of my loves at Le Moulin de la Galette on the river. My sit-spot was grossly sectioned off so that there was virtually no access nor view of the river, and it was rumored that this project would go on for months and months.


And so it has. Having returned to Bayeux this winter meant that either I found a new nature sit-spot, or risked feeling off-center every so often.


Divine Intervention never disappoints, I love to believe. One day I took the long-road-home-of-sorts, and happened upon Salome’s Garden.


Even in winter, this spot sparkled in the sunshine. The magenta flower in the lead foto warmed my heart one day, especially because I found her when she was the only, tiny, pink bloom in sight. The tree that will shade her sisters in the spring, became extremely dear to me. I named him Salome’, for the garden’s namesake and young hero who had died tragically, yet his spirit is still very much alive.


As often as possible, I would visit Salome’ on my city rounds, sit on the bench, and open a conversation with him. Sometimes I even spoke in French, and read poetry to him. Salome’ gave me advice sometimes, it was wonderful. We created a love affair that like last winter, was so meaningful and joy-filled for me.


I almost cried my last day in Bayeux, when I had to say goodbye to Salome’, for now. And, I know that our connection will transcend miles, and an ocean between us.


My dear friend Lydie just sent me a message this morning, after we’d spent my last evening in Paris together, last night. She mentioned how it seems like yesterday that we’d last met, even though it has been nearly three months.


She said, That’s true love, isn’t it? No space, no time.


Ah oui, it’s like that. For me and Lydie, for me and France, and now, for me and Salome’.

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