What is your place in the world?
This week’s WordPress photo challenge is rather ambiguous. Sure, my first answer would be, at home with my family. At work with my colleagues. Meeting with friends and acquaintances.
Thinking about it, I realized that there’s another place in the world where I’ve always felt at home: in dreams.
When I was a kid, I daydreamed about adventures, romantic encounters, far away places. Later, when I grew up, I began to pursue some of those dreams. And in doing so, I discovered that they guided me to people, places and experiences.
The book with the reproduction above is currently standing on a cabinet in our living room. These horses were painted on the walls of Chauvet Cave in the French Ardèche some 35.000 years ago. They are the oldest known paintings in the world.
The cave was discovered in 1996. I remember my excitement when I learned about the cave and I dreamed about descending there one day and see the paintings with my own eyes. It won’t happen, because the cave was locked after its discovery and will never be accessible to the public.
Descending in Chauvet Cave was a dream and yet, on a very hot summer day, some years ago, while spending our vacation in Southern France, I took the car and drove up to Vallon-Pont-d’Arc. After visiting the research center, I drove a bit further down the Ardèche river, in search of the exact spot of the cave.
It was almost impossible to find, but finally I was standing between the grapes, in front of a limestone escarpment, the Ardèche river with the famous Pont d’Arc behind me, perhaps some hundred meters or less from the cave inside the limestone. I could almost feel the presence of the paintings, or so it seemed.
And that is what dreams can do: if you allow them, they may guide you to people and places and experiences that are unforgettable.
In response to the WordPress photo challenge: Place in the world.
Chauvet Cave (Wikipedia)