How to get lost in your own rural neighborhood

First, let me say that after a day of heavy rain, thunderstorms and blowing wind, it looked as though the day had improved enough for a walk while Tanja’s osso bucco finished working its magic in the oven; getting lost was the last thing on our minds. The sun had come out and the air was cool with a strong westerly breeze. The visibility was good. We plotted our route from our farmhouse – down the wooded trail to the south, eventually going east, coming back north and then walking west to our house. Simple enough.

Everything started out well. We turned off the road and walked south through the woodland trail we have followed before. The smells and sites of the forest after the rain were absolutely glorious –  pungent mosses, wet leaves, moss covered trees. A vineyard came into view, seemingly far from any civilization. Yours truly suggested we turn east through the vines into another section of forest we could see. Tanja admitted that this was where she got lost soon after we moved into our house, but  we could see the highway in the distance and knew if we kept it in the right perspective we would be fine.

The sun grew warmer and we took off our jackets, wandering in the eastward direction, enjoying the vines and the plum trees, both full of new green fruit.

Cluster of green baby grapes
Green baby grapes
Cluster of green baby plums on a tree
Baby plums

So how did we get lost you ask? Think too much sensory input. The highway we used as a landmark ran in a different direction than we thought. So when we thought we were going east, we were actually going south. Streams popped out of nowhere that had to be crossed or circumnavigated.

Pastoral scene of young calves in a pasture
Young calves

Every pasture in France is electrified and takes great care to enter. The cows were fine, however. They watched us coming, we who had no idea where we were, they who knew exactly where they were: where the food was.

We came across a wheat field and decided we could walk along its edge. First of all, it was massive!

Wheat field to the horizon
Wheat as far as the eye could see.

And secondly, this was some of the tallest wheat we had ever seen, over a meter tall. We found out just how tall it was when we had to detour into its loveliness to escape brambles and wild roses that covered our path.

Tanja standing in wheat up to her elbows all around
Tanja in tall wheat
Rick standing in the wheat field
Rick in wheat

Eventually we saw a landmark near our house and were able to go cross country through vineyards, sunflowers and hay fields until we reached home sweet home. At that point we were perfectly done and the osso bucco was none the worse for wear.

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