Well, I am not sure what the heck is wrong with me. And I am pretty sure that any sentence that starts this way is headed in the wrong direction, anyway. Two “wrong” in one opening paragraph. Wow. Something is going on.
I am writing from one of the most beautiful spots I have seen. A sweet balcony overlooking the Mediterranean sea from so high up, I feel like I am in a bird nest. A hill of filled-to-the-rim olive trees to my left. A sunny room all to myself, with a little house to go with it. A medieval village where most of the streets are for pedestrians only, since a car would never fit in the narrow passageways. Beauty every.where. Italian sounds wafting up to my window. A lovely table all ready for me to write. Time. Lots of time. A crazy beautiful (and seriously steep) walk down to a pristine beach. Orange trees, carob trees, lemon trees.
And did I mention time?
Time was what I wanted the most when I concocted this plan. Time to write, to be, to finally do all the things I can’t seem to get done within the cocoon of my regular life. I had dreamed of this for so long, tasted it, saw myself soaring with creativity and vitality. In my vision, I got up early, hiked, ate healthy food, sat down to write for several hours each day, and fell asleep reading a great book, in the middle of the bed and with a smile on my face. Alone and blissed out.
The reality is that since the train dropped me off two hours south of Naples, less than two days ago, I have been in some level angst. First, a hard time breathing from a reaction to the laundry soap on the sheets, then a cold. And most of all, this semi constant dialog going on in my head about how I should feel, and how can I not see the gift? How can I be so ungrateful?
This is not fun.
I hiked down to the beach yesterday, huffed back up, took photos, watched a movie on Netflix (which, according to my thoughts, is much less enlightened than reading a good book). I went to the market this morning and bought a bunch of veggies. Came home and made a big pot of soup. Had fresh mozzarella (holy smokes) with barely off the vine tomatoes and some basil for lunch. Meditated. Talked with clients.
I can see what this looks like, from the outside. Heaven, really.
So why am I so freaking bound up inside? This is more beautiful, peaceful and supportive than I would have dreamed. And affordable. Why can I not accept the gift?
I don’t know. Yet.
My guess is that in a few days, I will.
In a few days, I will settle in and snuggle up with the gift. I will make friends with this crazy-making mind chatter. I will put down on paper all these words that have been patiently waiting for this very time to come out and dance. Maybe a small book will pop out, too. Maybe.
Or maybe there is a completely different gift awaiting me, here. Something that has nothing to do with the way I think it should look.
Whatever it is, I intend to recognize it and to say yes to it. To be a good steward to it, too.
Meanwhile, the sun went down and the almost full moon just lifted up like a balloon over the tree covered hill, on its way to lighting up the sea, later tonight. And I didn’t think this place could not get prettier...
Life is big. And it always knows best.
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Island Bliss Retreat
July 12 to 19
Happiness Retreat in Italy
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