…that lives as the giants of the forest continue to grow, their
years surpassing those of the generations that have enjoyed the
shade offered by their branches.
Manel the berger (shepherd) planted many of the trees that stand a head
above the others in the canopy, and also left his mark in the form of
engraved stones that speak of his love for the forest: natural springs
cascade through heart-shaped channels and a table invites diners to be
seated on stone pedestals in a hidden glade.
A local legend, his memory is alive in the form of magnificent towering
sequoia or redwood, and in the rocks that he has breathed life into;
with verses in a strange mélange of latin languages, hearts and tree motifs.
He was known for his sense of humour (farce), his ability to climb trees,
and for his companion – a tame fox. Illiterate, he was aided by a local
school mistress who transcribed his poems.
As he predicted “quand je mourais, la montagne pleurera”, upon his
passing ‘the mountain cried’ and it snowed for three days – an event
still considered ‘exceptional’. He lies in a private cemetery here on
the mountain, adjacent to a hamlet where trees frame the view to Canigou.