Some of this is already legend....
Our story begins in Ceres.
In history, Ceres is the ancient Greek Goddess who presides over grains. Her daughter Persephone is trapped in Hades for half the year. Mother and daughter are reunited in the spring and summer.
This mythological tale has always entranced me. And since a little girl, I’ve been something of a gypsy. Legends ignite my imagination and spur me to wander into deep forests.
From an early age, I loved ovens. And fire.
Then I woke to a dream of a faraway village.
One November a few years ago, I visited Gascony. I enjoyed lunch at a beautiful 14th century millhouse, La Belle Gasconne in Poudenas. The pond was like a mirror. A bridge spanned the Gelise River, with water pouring through the auberge and grinding wheat into flour, before going on to the Mediterranean.
Smoke twirled from the wood-fired oven and touched everything with a delicious heat.
The path of pilgrims trudging their way east to Santiago or west to Arles, from Rome, Jerusalem, or Greece was only a few feet from the door.
After that visit I sat down to write.