|Sue and Sophie in the evening sunlight by the Loire River in the beautiful town of Amboise. (Thunderstorm just passed)|
|We began with Chambord - the largest and outwardly most impressive of the Chateau.|
At the centre of the chateau is a spiral staircase - actually two staircases, one on top of the other. One can climb to the next floor seeing people across from you also on the staircase but never meeting them. It is a classic case of people wanting to be seen, but not known; being concerned about appearances and what people think of them, rather than the substance of who they are. I might be reading too much into all this, but the main function of the chateau seemed to be to impress people, rather than be a place where people could enjoy living.
|The central spiral staircase|
|Sue & Sophie on the other stair|
|Chateau Cheverny snapped on our way for a cup of coffee at their restaurant/cafe in the converted l'orangery|
|Wedding gown - Cheverny|
Cheverny seemed to escape the power plays and infighting that seem to be so much a part of the history of other chateau.
Our third chateau visit was Chenonceau.
|Sue and Martin at Chenonceau|
Lasting impressions? Beautiful buildings, tapestries, paintings, furniture, ... But also questions about the legacy we leave according to the kind of life we live. Greed and power games don't seem to have led to a happy home! Most of us don't, or can't, build in Francois I words "a big, beautiful and magnificent edifice" like Chambord to make people think we are powerful, but how much do we worry what people think of us? Chambord seemed to be all about outward impressions. How much time, money and personal energy do we give to "impression management". I remember when Samuel was choosing the future king of Israel, the Lord said to him: "Do not consider his appearance or his height... The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." (1 Sam 16:7) I also reflected that only God can change our inner selves - giving us a "new heart".
Blessings as you tend to your hearts.