I leave Monday. It’s been almost three weeks, which is, if you think about it, not very long in a lifetime. How then, in such a short time can a place become so much a part of me? I asked myself this question today, first of all as I lost myself in the sweet doughy taste of a Belgium waffle, and later on as I picked my way through a pile of oil paintings in an old barn somewhere on a lovely farm in Quebec’s Laurentians. I asked myself the same question, when, much later on, and completely by accident and chance turn, I found myself standing on a hill surrounded by a life size rendition of the Stations of the Cross above Huberdeau Calvary.
I wondered what if would be like to really, and I mean really believe in bible stories, and virgin births, parting seas, and God and all that afterlife stuff? Very comforting. The Virgin Mary, in some sort of gold get-up towered at least three feet over my head, hands folded, tears falling and I could almost hear her say, “What do you mean, you think it’s all hog wash?
From the pamphlet:
The Bible says, “From his cross, Jesus could see the whole of Galilee.”
Huberdeau Calvary is located on top of a mountain, overlooking the village of Huberdeau and miles of the magnificent Rouge River Valley. …as you reach the end of this lane, you will see the beautiful replica of the grotto of Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes (Did I mention, we are in the middle of farmland)? It is here that the legendary Cure Labelle came to plant a cross in 1878. Cure Labelle is known as the priest who colonized the Laurentian area and when he said he was “going to the Rouge,” he was surely going to Huberdeau. (I sort of thought he might have meant wine, but that’s why he’s a saint and I’m a sinner!
I will be back here…and I thank the people of the Laurentians for their kindness, patience, hospitality, croissants, pate and red wine. And the International Residence for Artists at Val David and Flavia Cosma for making it all possible.