There I was on my couch in Prague. My mind rolling around hand-in-hand with my new found freedom. What shall I do with all this glorious time and dobré počasí? The answer? Go to Corsica to work on an organic farm through WWOOF. Yes, that’s what I’ll do, I thought to myself. I’ll go speak to crickets, roll in the mud, get to know the ground and figure out how to set up a proper outdoor bathroom. Goals. It’s all about setting goals and defining our own success.
I found adventure over the Mediterranean horizon, beyond the Bastia harbor, through the Corsican hills in a little foggy valley near Saint-Florent. My friend from California is all about organic farming and had a connection at Le Potager du Nebbio, a magical place down a dirt road where cows roam and tomatoes teach you about love. Really, they do. You must care for those gems with true emotion. I wasn’t a true tomato fan until I met you, le potager.
The light on the farm is remarkable. The sky moves fast and the valley echoes colors. At night, the dinning room is lit and all things here are at peace with the world around them. Every night we met in the kitchen to prepare shrimp samosas and chocolate fon dant for the evening service. Then we danced and cooked for a few more hours. Okay, and drank some wine, or cocktails if that’s what the chef requested.
There were always begging dogs.
My goal of setting up an outside bathroom was totally fulfilled beyond my expectations. Our tent is not pictured below, but yes, it had yellow fur beads, dream catchers and a blue bird swinging from its moon roof. We slept in fear only a few nights after the cow incident. Other than that the nights were peaceful on the ground. We woke with the sun and slept at high noon.
The cow incident began and ended with an angry cow who is most likely still roaming those Corsican fields, pissed off at the world. The owner of the farm, who doubles as the restaurant chef, came to us with a task shortly before service one evening. Armed with a bucket of potatoes and a few batchi balls, we were to drive the angry cow out of the field.
I approached the cow with bold arms and loud potatoes. The cow stared. My fearless co-farmer shook her pitchfork and gave a “haaaayyyyyiiiiaaaaa” and a stomp. The cow dove it’s head down, tossing it madly left to right. I’m thinking … I’ve seen this on YouTube before … clips of runners in Pamplona.
“Stand your ground, Carly!”
Rosie, the tougher farmer of the two, grabbed a potato and landed one dead between the cow’s shoulder blades. Finally, the stand off was over. At least the first stand off. Things then took a Rocky Horror turn when the owner, who doesn’t look unfamiliar to Meatloaf, drove the cow to the back field on his motorcycle.
The next four nights we were plagued in the back field by noises of cowbell. And not the Blue Oyster Cult type.
Life changes with perception. This Corsican dream I lived changed mine. It taught me the lesson that I will learn over and over again throughout life. Where ever we go, there we are. Make the most of right now.