I live surrounded by stone--stone houses, stone walls, limestone cliffs, the rocky causse. It rained last night; everything is dripping this morning, and the air is heavy with the fragrance of wet stone. It's a sharp, metallic smell, distinctive, mossy, gunmetal gray with a tinge of green--just enough to let you know it's alive, this stone. The smell holds hints of prehistory men, gallo-Roman traders, Knights Templar returned from crusade, peasants and oxen toiling to fill the coffers of an absentee lord. There are whiffs of the Hundred Year's War, as well as the Wars of Religion fought here. Pilgrims and priests, rivermen and Resistance fighters all put down undertones that support the top notes of family, food, and good wine. I breathe deeply taking in all the wet stone offers my soul. This smell, this fragrance will always remind me of this place---my home in France. Surrounded by stone, wet and dripping with the lives and events of its past.