The view down the valley to the east from the Miles’ house with the megalithic ridge in the distance. The golden tinged pseudo-acacia invade the meadow.
The name ‘Cévennes’ (or something like it) first appears in the writing of classical authors such as Julius Caesar, who passed through in the course of conquering the Gauls. It probably means something like ‘the backs’ or ‘the ridges’ – a reference to the seemingly endless sharp-edged hills of granite and schist that seem to stretch on forever. These ridges are sculpted by torrents, many of which are called the Gard or the Gardon (a Celtic name which literally means ‘fast water’) – and eventually feed into the Rhône.
It looks like a wild landscape – forest covered and, to the uninitiated, there seems to be little evidence of human activity. The typical mountain river below our house is known as La Salindrenque. Its gorge is a chaos of granite boulders, sculpted by water into fantastic shapes, though this morning they have almost disappeared beneath the rushing water. During last night’s magnificent downpour, it felt as though we were in a storm-tossed galleon. The waters poured in a curtain off the roof. I half expected Israel Hands, dagger between his teeth, to climb down the great wooden beams
The Past | April/May 2021