Monday, February 1, 2010

Try tying a yellow ribbon around this one.

This stunning old oak is called Le Chêne-Chapelle (the Oak Chapel), and can be found in a small, sleepy farming town in Normandie called Allouville-Bellefosse.

The tree was already 500 years old (give or take a score), when in 1669 the Abbot du Détroit and his dad decided to spend some father/son quality time together and re-purpose it as a chapel. A bolt of lightning had already gutted it. The priest built a small, and by small I mean itty-bitty, altar to the Virgin Mary. Years later, a second chapel and a staircase were added. Its one of the oldest trees (and the only chapel-in-a-tree) in France.

I dragged Franck and Camille there about two weeks before Roman was born. I suppose I was nesting. (heh, heh, nesting, get it?) I managed to fit into the chapel with my Buddha-belly, but barely. I've since taken my mom there with Roman after he was born. It's really fascinating. I bet even Tony Orlando would enjoy it.

It's a veritable witness to history, and barely survived the French Revolution. Today, parts of the tree have died and it's supported by wooden beams. Shingles serve as patches for missing bark.

Sadly, for this Old Grey Oak, she ain't what she used to be.

A view looking into the chapel, and a view looking out.

Before: exiting chapel with Camille (Roman in belly) After: Roman in stroller, age 2 months, in front of Le Chêne. He slept through the whole thing.

1 comment:

  1. two months after having a kid and you look like that. that fo-shizzle isn't fair. just sayin'.