Almost, but not yet

The summer is winding down, should have been home by now. We ran from two islands, but Irene caught us in NY and has us grounded. No space on any airlines, so we wait, stuck, packed, ready, in memories.

We left this behind, spending our last day on the farm haying:

My husband got to do this:

while I ran around finding things like this:

I had no idea a wasp’s nest could be as the moon, with a man sitting inside it.

And yes, it was beautiful, the mountains and sky and space and rivers. I like that.

But I love this:

I need this:

When I climb into water, I climb back into myself. No matter how long I have been away, I find it just beneath the surface. It’s always there waiting. Sometimes for too long. Sometimes, I believe, I cry simply to taste salt.

Little crabs came to visit:

I caught a lizard being coy:

The moon stayed with us all day:

The last morning, before we had to evacuate our little dollop of sand that sits in the middle of heaven, the rain came briefly, but hard, turning the water into diamonds. We ran into it, warmth hugging our legs and bodies, heads smacked with a cooler type of wetness. It left as quickly as it came, leaving behind even more beauty:

Everything must come to an end.

I feel full. The last two weeks at the sea filled my cup. I am ready to go back now. Discover Rome all over again, discover it anew.

But we sit in NY, and wait….

Tuscan twisting

Here’s what you get when you mix yoga and wine country: yesterday in class, here on my yoga retreat tucked into a Tuscan hill, after an all afternoon wine tasting, as we all bent and twisted in our vinyasa flow, the teacher said, “Okay, we are going to do some variations. For those of you who are drunk, just keep doing the flow.” I may never leave.

 

Morning coffee spot

Ebbio retreat center

Bedroom view

Dove’s nest in bathroom window

country life

Tuscany

 

Cherries

So good!

Baby grapes

Lunch

This little guy came to my plate for scraps.

Hen house, where I saw a rooster having a little too much fun.

Peacock in the hen house, not having so much fun.

Even the donkey is happy here.

 

 

 

 

From concrete to vines to mountains to sea

Summer is here. Storms hang in corners; windows are now perpetually open, as mosquitoes rest on my pillow waiting for me to sleep so that they can have their feast. I thought we’d left bed nets behind in Uganda, but this past week we found ourselves hanging them above and around our bed in Rome, so that once again night holds us in webs.

Construction is also in flower, and every corner and every window barrages the world around it with hammering and drilling, which pound and pierce into my every pore. My husband used to tease me that I didn’t know the world existed beyond the Upper West Side of Manhattan. It was as if I had a string that could only go so far, a tension cord, which would swing me back if it became too taught, too far away. But then we moved to Uganda, and as I’ve written it wasn’t easy, but slowly, without me even noticing it, I surrendered to silence filled with birds, and insects, and freedom. I remember going back to NY last summer and for the first time in my life found myself cowering and reeling back from the intense noise being hurled at me. That same feeling has sadly been felt by our daughter here. For seven months now she’s walked with her hands over her ears and asks me why it has to be this way. Yesterday she actually said, “Mommy, Rome is too loud. I think we need to leave soon and find a quieter home.” And then today, while walking her to school we took a different route, longer, but through a nicer street. For one moment the traffic calmed and my 4 year-old daughter stopped me and said, “Mommy, listen. It’s quiet. That’s so nice.” And then, of course, the light turned green and we braced ourselves again.

I write all this as I start to pack to leave the city for the summer. Yes, there will be concrete and steel and noise along the way, but mostly it will be vines and mountains and sea. I look forward to watching my daughter drop her hands back down to her sides, while my husband spreads his soul and being as far as the horizon can take him.

I won’t be writing as much. A good deal of the journey is as far away from technology as we can get. But I will try and post some stories and pictures along the way. I wish everyone a very happy summer.

Here are some shots of the Ugandan sky, which opened me up and spread me out so that apartments in cities can no longer contain, or sustain me.