Military trees feted our approach to the Champenois capital. We were far from the swathes of fir and silver birch whose moss-softened under-storeys had offered us their intimate welcome over the post-equinox weekend. I thought of the first time I had heard of the Ardennes forest -in silvam Arduennam- Julius Caesar's Gallic Wars VI. Caesar was too full of ambition and strategy to look at what was around him. Enough was never enough. And I was too anxious about my grades in Latin to really think about what was being said in the texts to be translated. Yet here I was in the very same forest where all trace of battle, told and untold, good deeds and bad, had sunk under the roots such silent trees, hushed by the patter of raindrops and fallen leaves.
By the time daylight was waning, the Ardennes had long since given way to fields smoothed featureless and desolate by agricultural efficiency and the first buildings of the Réamois suburbs were breaking though the horizon. We talked of dinner and our return to Paris.
creating tales of things and other places