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Sara-Kali revisited

31st August 2005

Sara Kalithe cryptOn the way home I realised that I had to go back to the Camargue one last time. It was noticeably cooler than southern Italy and Malta, but still very hot and there were tourists everywhere (whom I resented, of course, even though that’s exactly what I was!)

The stairway up to the top of the church of Les Saintes Maries was open, so I was able to see the view over the town this time – and then back to the crypt to say goodbye to Sara-Kali, who has somehow found her way into my heart very quickly.

I sat in the crypt for a long time – crying, of course – but also watching people and their reactions. This is so much a living cult. More than one big, tough-looking man came in, possibly gypsies but I don’t know. One kissed the hem of one of Sara-Kali’s many robes. Another put a lot of money into the collection box. All crossed themselves and one had rosary beads. I haven’t completely decided what to make of all this, but if Sara was simply a servant to the two Maries who came to convert the local heathen then I will eat my camera.