Yesterday I appropriately ended my stay here in the South of France by renting a car and traveling west along the picturesque Cathar trail, my end destination; Rennes le Chateau - made famous by two best selling contraversial books 'Holy Blood, Holy Grail' and 'DaVinci Code'. The location of Rennes was sublime, a little peace of heaven on earth.
Almost immediately leaving Perpignon you are in Cathar Country. For those of you who do not know, the Cathars were new age thinkers of the 11th century. Anyone who was a 'free thinker', gathered in this region. It is here where women were revered as equal to men and played a part in every aspect of culture, governance, business, teaching, spiritual guides. It was not long before the Roman Catholic Church sent along massive French troops under the reign of King Philip, sought the Cathars out, and masacred as many as 300,000. You could not help but get a sense of both the sublime life of living in such a beautiful surrounding, being free to be yourself, and the incredible terror and violence that was inflicted therafter.
It was a reminder this type of violence and social injustice still continues on today in many eastern parts of our world. Humanity is not yet free. Much work to be done yet. As I am about to leave this region, also home to my own ancestors on my mothers side, women who were the 'free thinkers' of their time, I plan to carry on that legacy - the impulse to do good, be good and vision the world as it could be - Heaven on Earth.