The Discovery of Cantobria
Updated: Sep 17, 2022
At the foot of the shining citadel,
where two river ravines converge
upon a heart-shaped, light-filled valley,
there lies a land for living lightly
for the sake of a better world
that your heart knows to be possible.
There also, you shall encounter me,
and perhaps yourself as well...
your own true nature.
A long-awaited encounter it will be!
Cantobria sounds to me like a hymn. It is a name I devised, if only by a slight variation on what already was. What a great sense of new possibility can be created by such a subtle change!
What is Cantobria? To start, there are 56 acres of land over which I can now "claim ownership" and can therefore lawfully invite you as guests. It's a tenuous claim based on laws and conventions. The land never did and never will belong to anyone, as the American Indians had the good sense to understand.
Given that the land cannot really belong to anyone, I like to think of Cantobria beyond the confines of any property rights: a place without boundaries where people come together to thrive in harmony with nature.
The name Cantobria is derived from an original Celtic place name "canto briga" which may have meant "shining citadel" or a premonitory. This same etymology gave its name to the perched medieval village of Cantobre (a real name), which is of course located in (or within) Cantobria.
Beneath the village lies a heart-shaped pasture, sloping gently down to the river banks. Once the site of a watermill, a small cluster of farmhouses remain. On the other side of the river Trèvezel, a monumental rock face rises up, creating a vast yet semi-enclosed architectural space. Narrow river valleys were carved out of the high plateau over the eons, offering passage into the heart of this welcoming land.