This is a difficult week for us. The apartment looks forlorn and not ours anymore. Our “stuff” is either packed away in duffels awaiting their trip to the airport, strewn around the floor seeking a place in an unfilled duffel (hard to find), in boxes being left here for next year, in piles to give to friends or in bags to take to the Catholic charities.
But—the hardest part of the week is saying goodbye--to people, most of all, but also to places, drives, things we haven’t done and wanted to, the piazza, our favorite restaurants and a pace of life that suits us well.
Tears are being shed or held inside wet eyes. Hugs and kisses and inadequate words spill out with friends and shop keepers, with waiters and cooks, with grocery checkers and the gelato ladies. And we say parting words with the dear people with whom we have lived every day—Alessandro and his family, Sara who really runs everything, and all the men who work here, making this a lively, exciting place--making it our home.
And then—there is our tree. The one we have watched through the seasons when it was rich with leaves and when it was barren except for that one brown leave which stayed to welcome the new buds. Now the tree is just as it was when we arrived a year ago—green and full and the perfect landing place for new baby swallows leaving their nests in the eaves--testing their wings. Soon those nests will be empty--just like our apartment.