God sometimes gives us unexpected gifts. Our gift has been a grandson who enlivens our lives and makes retirement very different than the one we anticipated. He is a special joy. And that's "Casey." In 2006 we fulfilled our dream of living in Italy for a year. It was every bit as wonderful as anticipated. This blog begins in 2005 as we prepared for that experience. Since then we have explored many places together. That's the "Travel." And finally, I am a person of opinions--spiritually, politically, on just about anything and that's the "Other Stuff." Welcome to my blog.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Counting Days

A year ago we were living in Italy. The memories are full and continue to warm our souls. We miss it—Casey, Ken and I—every day. I don’t think a day goes by that one of us doesn’t share a memory or the longing to be there again. In a year one grows past the infatuation with the romance of Italy and begins to understand a little of the ebb and flow of life and people. The piazza becomes more than a place of charm and becomes a community. When the tourists go home for the winter, life settles in to a pattern of traditions and calm. It is a different place. Winter brings with it a sense of peace.

Now we are going back—we will land at the Florence airport less than a year after we waved goodbye and watched Alessandro, Camilla and Mario return to the vehicles that deliverd us and our luggage for the journey home. It was a sad day and no one was sadder than our Casey and his sorella Camilla—these children that bonded in such an unusual way. They seemed to become extensions of each other as they spent that year together.



This time is just for two months but we will be there. We talk of the things we will do, the places to revisit, the friends to connect with, meals at our favorite restaurants and the welcomes we know we will receive when we walk in the door. We will belong to our past for a short while.

It won’t be the same because it will be tourist season and we will blend in with all those who are seeking the magic of Tuscany. It is not our favorite season there—in fact, it is not the time we would go if not for restrictions Casey’s school year places on us. Tonight we again wondered if we should return for another year but, it is too late now. Our Permesso di Soggiorno has expired so we would need to repeat the excruciating visa process—which takes months.

I know though that once there we will not want to come back to the states. And, I know for sure that Casey will want to stay with Tommy and Valentina and all his friends. He will want to stay where he can roam and be free, explore and discover—where he can feel safe in the piazza and walk hand and hand with Camilla into the gelateria. He will want to stay in the place that is home.



But now, it is ahead of us and we will relish each of the 61 days and know there are more years ahead for us. And Casey will always have two worlds that he calls home—two places where he belongs. What a future he has!

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Your poste leaves me speechless and with tears in my eyes.Barb Cabot

Jane said...

Thanks, Barb, mia amica.

Chiocciola said...

What a lovely post, Jane! It can be hard to have your heart in two places, but amazing too! And Casey will always be part Italian, what a gift that is.

Mary Thomas said...

such a graceful expression of the poignancy of conflict...

I so look forward to our conversations...

Fondly,

Mary

Judith in Umbria said...

Things were like that for us in the US once upon a time-- at least in Maine where I lived. What could we do to return to that level of neighborliness and safety? How can we rescue the places that are not like Italy?
Are we too far gone to care about each other and to form communities that stress kindness instead of winning?

Jane said...

Mary and Eirin, that you so much for your comments--they make me smile. Judith, I wonder the same things. I wonder if in small town America there are still places where confidence in children's safety still exists. Or is all that a dream?

Mary, I too look forward to conversations and know that we will wish for more days.

Anonymous said...

Like Barb above, your post made me weep with longing for such an innocent time.

I hope your trip is a wonderful sequel to your year in Italy.

nancyhol

Jane said...

Nancy, thanks! I guess the heart shines through.

Deborah said...

Jane, if some bookie were giving odds, I would bet my life savings on Casey making Italy his permanent home at some point in his adult life.

Jane said...

Deborah, I wouldn't take the bet. See you soon--I hope.