25 April 2012

looking back, and looking forward

It's after midnight.  My fifth anniversary (of living in Italy) has been and gone.  Five years ago I was very tired, emotional, jetlagged, and probably still awake and out of bed then too.

Tonight while looking at postings about Anzac Day I came across my blog entry one year after I arrived here.  Something has changed since then.  The music here does enthrall me now.  I really do have two places that are my turangawaewae.

I had to smile when I read the quote about my car; I feel as though I have survived, but like it's owner the car has had to go in for repairs (after the snow avalanche from the roof).  I guess we all hit speed bumps occasionally :-)  But mostly, in this life, I do "drive my own car", following the wonderful advice given to me by a good friend, and the repairs to heart and body happen sometimes without any conscious input from me.

So what else has changed in the last five years?

I still love fireflies, and marvel at them every year.  They bring with them a magic that delights and makes me feel child-like in wonderment again.  In fact, they really are one of the wonders of life for me.

I still love living here.  I think I am well established here, despite finding stumbling blocks regularly.  The word "love" reminds me of the poem I discovered (also in 2008) and share again here:

Love after love

The time will come
when, with elation,
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror,
and each will smile at the other's welcome
And say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was yourself
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you
All your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

Derek Walcott

I think that I am no longer a stranger to myself.  I have surprised myself at times.  I am stronger than I thought I was.  I can be tougher than I knew I could be.  I can also be the gentle person I think I am.  I "beat myself up" less, and relax more. While I still have too much to do in a day I am equally happy leaving things undone when I need to rest.

What would I change if I could? What will the future bring? I am happy just to live one day at a time, and let the future take care of itself.

Life is pretty wonderful really.  If I could only work out how to have more time with family I think I could say that I have more than anyone could ever ask for in life.  Mmmmm... maybe a sprung, carpeted wooden floor wouldn't go amiss though, for knees that know that they have been climbing hills recently.   Yes, perhaps there is still room for improvement in places!

Today I am grateful for my Italian Identity Card.

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