It was a warm Friday afternoon. The streets of Paris were full of people rushing home after work or being on their way to meet friends for one of those sweet apèro‘s on the quais of the Seine. I was rushing for a train. The one that would take me far away from the crowded city.
Less than half an hour ride from the city the surrounding scenery looks quite different then before. Endless fields and thick green forests sweep outside the window as the train swiftly arrives to its destination. Outside, the air is sharper, frangrant, smelling of soil, trees and grass. Another 15 minutes ride with a car and finally, far on the horizon, we can already catch site of the tall portal in front of us. The gateway is open. As we pass through, a wast greenery open up in front. A 16th century castle of Raray stands tall at the clearance on the left. The domain wass once an area for hunting: tall and sleek stone deers decorate the walls surrounding the property.
So very french, I remember the thoughts passing through my mind as I was getting the keys of the cabin and map of the domain at the reception desk. I was about to find L’imprenable, my woden home for the night, 13 meters above the ground, lying in the arms of a tall hundred years old oak tree.
As I walked throught the forest, every now and then I would catch a glimpse of a wooden cottage far up in the sky: utterly blended with their surroundings, hidden by thick green canopy of leaves. The cottage I was about to climb to was the highest.
Once up in the skies, in the midst of the green leaves and thick branches, a certain kind of joyful peace landed upon me. I was in the arms of a beautiful old oak. Thick grey trunk of the tree pierced the wooden floor of the terrace while its huge branches leaned over the narrow roof of the cottage.
The night was falling slowly, as it does up here in the north. The sun spilled its warm orange light on the terrace as we were sipping wine an snacking on a light diner. As the night fell upon us, the sounds of the forest diminished too. The night was dark and peaceful.
We woke up as the morning light shone gently through the window, just before the breakfast came. A big wooden basket was lying attached on the long cord on the ground, it was on us to pull it up and earn our breakfast. There were local jam and honey, fresh bread and croissants, buttery and crispy. Coffee was steaming, pipping hot as we poured it in our cups.
The leaves of the old oak were still, moving only slighty when a bird would descend on one of the high branches. An inexplicable feeling passes through me when I think of it today, mixed emotions of inner peace and excitement. It’s another world up there, under a canopy of leaves and branches, the one I could visit ever do often, an ideal break from reality.