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.
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Island Bliss Retreat
July 12 to 19
Happiness Retreat in Italy
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