For a couple of days I have been walking around appreciating the here and now. It is especially easy to appreciate the here and now when it seems under dire threat and you dread what is to come. Here and now seems pretty good compared to what may happen next.
Of course in the here and now where I live, there are constant reminders of the grizzly days of World War 2 and the Nazi Occupation. The ancestors erected these reminders just especially so we could not possibly forget their suffering and could not easily make the same mistakes again. Their witness of the past cannot be missed: “Never again.”
The photos include mostly Villemur sur Tarn while I was waiting for an appointment on the first warm day after a hard month of successive freezes. The light was glorious. But toward the end of the set is an image of the Hanging Trees outside the Préfecture in Montauban. We were having coffee there yesterday at a café, outside in the warm sunlight after class, and I could not take my eyes off the trees, now gnarled and dead but left as a monument. The Nazis used them to execute Resisters publicly as a lesson to those who might also be thinking of rebellion.
May such dark days never come again. And if they are already here, may we have the courage never to back down, no matter what.