We just finished reading "Travels with Charley" by Steinbeck. John suits himself up with one of those pick-up truck/campers and takes off with his dog Charley for a few months to get in touch with the pulse of America. His stops and starts and his general impression of people in diners and on the back roads of the US. He takes his time wandering east to west to south to back home again. Reminded me a lot of our summer vacations driving off to some state we hadn't seen yet.
And when he gets on that home stretch, that last day or two of driving, he comments that this was one of those times when the journey ends before the trip is done. He was no longer interested in observing and probing and trying to take in the vibes of the places he was driving through. He just wanted to get home.
I feel like that now. I'm trying to stay present and let myself keep falling in love with Italy. For example, if only you could just hear the sound of the birds they have here. The rondine fill the background city sounds with an organic softness. It's indescribable. On it's own you might say it's a high pitched whistle, but it's more than that. It echos off the buildings as they bank from under the roof overhangs. A light brilliant layer to the lower sound of voices, bikes and footsteps in the morning. I love opening up the windows to these sounds everyday.
And getting lost in the Alps. Last weekend we decided to take the scenic route home from lake Como, headed for the wrong mountain pass, which ended up being closed and had to take a detour through Switzerland. Incredibly beautiful mountains like none I'd ever seen before. And I loved it, but in a bitter sweet way. Like watching something new and beautiful in the final hours. You're in awe, but in the back of your mind, you know the end is near.
Of course I'm also excited. I'm going home to the US, beautiful California and a job I have missed. I'm looking forward to being able to call my parents during my morning commute... reconnecting made easier simply because of a change in time zone. Feeling that American pulse again. And I'm clearing out the accumulated crap from our house. I love simplifying and shedding the excess. And I'm excited to see the next few months in Italy unfold. I'm looking forward to sailing and Amalfi, but trying desperately to not let the heartache of moving away cloud the days.