The last six days were like a good Baba au Rhum: sweet enough to give you cavities and maybe even a little buzz.
The airfare prices being sky high around Christmas, we had decided to take what we could, and to celebrate the holiday early.
My daughter made her way to Annecy, the French town where her little brother has lived for the past two years, and my job was to get my butt over there last Monday. I was more than happy to follow my marching orders and arrived on the train from Rome ready to hold her tight. She had brought along her new love as well as two friends and very quickly, we all felt like a cozy little family. Followed two and a half days of late mornings where I got to work while they slept in the mornings, late nights talking and playing games, strolls through the fairytale-like small town which was all decked out for Christmas. Hot wine, cheese fondue and croissants. Lots of love and smiles and wow... I recharged my batteries to the max. Somehow I hadn’t known how starved I had been for my family. In some ways, ways for which this trip seems to be gaining a knack, I may not have realized how not fully over this “empty nest” thing I had been.
When Tanissa and her friends left, I moved into Costa’s tiny student apartment for a couple of days, slept in his bunk bed and made chili in the crockpot. I walked and worked while he was at school, we met in town for bites to eat, he took me to meet one of his friends who fed us the best homemade Chinese dumplings ever, and we walked home in the falling snow. Yum, yum and super yum.
Tomorrow morning, I am taking the train back to Italy to meet Silvana and see what kind of nine day adventure is awaiting me in her little village, next to Asti. I am ready for Community, and I am ready for Contribution. My plan is to do whatever I can while over there to add something good to her life. What that is, I don’t know yet. I am not sure she does either. But I do know that she has planned for us an evening of pizza with her theater group on Monday so my heart is smiling at the thought of meeting new people and letting Life show me what it has in mind.
Here’s to love, to family, to the places where we are more tender than we may have known, and to snow falling softly into the night.
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. "
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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.