Wednesday, February 4, 2009

One moment without the rest V/10

It’s a critical regard I’m after. If it’s all good, why will it get better. Tell me what you think. At least let me know you see me. That’s what I got today in the vines. A regard from on high.

There is a military base 60 kilometers up the road as the crow flies, or rather as the Mirage F1 flies. It’s up on the scrubby open land of the Larzac Plateau. It’s just around the corner from Roquefort, where they make the cheese. You see, the sheep like that scrubby, open, high plateau land too.

The sheep have been grazing up there for centuries. The Romans got it started, but it was cardinal Richelieu who really made it go. He turned the Larzac into an high performance economic engine when he funneled the contract for the royal army uniforms into the parish of Lodeve. Family connections or something like that. Thanks to that contract Lodeve became a center of wool fabrication in France. It was still a center up until the 1970’s. Just before everyone went to Asia.

Now what comes down from the Larzac are the jets. High end, state of the art fighter jets. In the vines you see them almost everyday. They fly low and fast and high and supersonic. They rip along at altitudes often lower than the surrounding hills. At a distance they are graceful, sweeping and rolling, in long smooth arcs, in and around the volcanic hills that form this zone. When they go right overhead it’s a bit more corporal. Graceful is replaced with crazy. Pounding. Screaming. Raw.

There were two planes that swept right overhead today. Much lower than the close-in clouds that wafted by the other day. I saw them from a long distance. When the sound fills the entire sky I have to stop and look. You need to sweep the sky to spot them. I picked these two up right above the horizon, coming from the direction south west, les mountains carroux. They were tracking right towards me.

I was working alone this morning. So I paused. I stood all the way up, raised my arms and waved at them like you would if you were stranded on a desert island. The two planes were one behind the other and low to the point where you could make out the silhouette of the pilot under the canopy.

The first plane roared over head. In a second the next came screaming by. As it did it rolled a quarter left, turned quickly upright, and then quickly a quarter right before leveling out and continuing with a ‘saw you’ quick thin trail of smoke spit out from each wing tip. All-right!

In an afternoon mission they will burn the quantity of gas the average car driver uses in two years. But so what, right. Flying that low, and a hello - from up there to the middle of nowhere. That’s what I call a very critical regard. It's nice to get it returned, it’s what I am giving all day long - before each squeeze of the trigger.


  1. Oh man I can practically feel the excitement of that. Look at me! Look at me! It's what we cry from the moment we can speak. Then to get such a nod? Lifelong desires met.