When we first walked into this little village, not quite a week ago, and once the initial turbulence behind us, we were surprised by not just how small it was, but how devoid of ... pretty much anything. We had a bite to eat at what seemed to be the main / only bar in town, noticed the indefinitely closed pastry shop, and made friends with the fact that for anything else, we would find our way to either Pisa or Lucca, a few kilometers away. Not a bad plan anyway.
In the last few days, we have walked into the breathtakingly beautiful hills, stood in awe of the 851 year old church, had a couple of snacks at the little bar, shopped at the three-stalls weekly market, and settled into enjoying the sparsity and simplicity of our surroundings.
But day by day, something new would catch our eyes and ears. First, the elementary school, with all its boisterous kiddos. Then, the post office and what may be a bank machine attached to it. Men, talking loudly with each other in the street at lunch time - and doing a whole lot of affectionate touching.
Yesterday, we noticed what we thought could be a small grocery store.
This morning, on the lookout for some olive oil, we made our way to that potential little store and discovered that indeed it was a grocery store! Quite well stocked, too. A bag full of very fresh vegetables and some toilet paper later, we took a new street on the way home and found ... another grocery store. Super friendly shopkeepers, the biggest pears I have ever seen, some local wine, freshly brined olives, and off we went.
Continuing up that new-to-us street, we found ourselves right in front of a church we had never seen (I think that's the third of fourth one in the village) and briefly stepped into its sacredness.
There is a deepening. Something that had we only passed by for a night or two, we may never have been able to experience. Something which may be only available to us because we would have been fine without it, and were able to relax into what was. Something beautiful and which feels like a privilege.
It reminds me of relationships with people, and of how it takes time to get the full flavor of them. How letting go of how we think they should be may allow us a deeper vista into what actually is, too.
Receive my blog posts straight into your inbox.
Essential Happiness Retreat
January 10 to 20, 2019
Guadeloupe, French Caribbean
"Thank you for sharing your wonderful, heartbreaking, exhilarating experience with the world."
"Thank You Laura for sharing, for teaching and spreading loving kindness. "
"I think I love you. You bring good things into my life, or remind me of things I love and know, but have let go of."
"Laura, you are so good for me. I laugh and sniffle and get the shivers when I read your essays. Thanks so much for letting all your wonderfulness run around loose."
"Heart-achingly beautiful, your words and how you reveal your truth."
"Thank you so much for who you are and what you share with the world. Your mere being transforms lives as it has transformed mine. This particular post did to my heart what water does to parched soil."
"Thank you for your gentle words that are packed full of wisdom. I have been struggling with the concept of what words can do to another person when they are negative words. Your words are the flip side of our word power, and shows how delightfully powerful kind words can be. Thank you."
"Once again Laura Lavigne takes you on an adventure of the heart. She has a way of pulling you right in the car with her. Asking you to consider changing a fear to taking thoughtful action. Whether she's teaching a class, leading a retreat or heading for a happiness sprinkling, Laura will invite you to shed old ways of thinking and be completely authentic. Join in!"
"Essentially pure love.
I enjoy how Laura is kind to herself and to us other humans who dance in and out of each other's lives. "
"Don't miss a post!
You can count on Laura for warmth, humor, charm, and a lift to your day and your heart. She inspires me to be braver than I am, and to love the world out loud. She's a gem, and a generous one at that!"
I write because this is the way I am able to taste life more deeply.