Climb Every Mountain!
Travel is the state of being homeless; we should welcome the opportunity it gives us to live nowhere. –Barbara Sjoholm
We now find our heroine sitting in an old farmhouse in northwestern Tuscany, complete with vineyard, swimming pool, five children, scrumptious homemade food, and a mountain view that is nothing short of stunning. This little village is so small and remote, you won’t even find it on a map, and the chance of running into tourists is about zero.
A few days ago, I recalled a moment from last winter, when I was in Costa Rica. We had just arrived at Rancho Margot, a sustainable, education and adventure-based ranch, and as I took in the gorgeous jungle scenery for the first time, I turned to Elizabeth and said Thank you for bringing me here! And here, now, I repeated these words to myself, while mesmerized by the snowy peaks surrounding the house, while enjoying meal after wonderful meal, and while hearing this lovely Irish family describe their travels and inspiring experiences. Such stories! I have sat in rapture on more than one occasion after dinner, sipping wine and getting ideas for the next time I travel.
It’s been nine days so far, and there have been so many potential posts, things I’m constantly saying I need to blog about this!, and of course the Internet connection comes and goes. So now I find myself with the dilemma of too many things to share- all about the food, for example? The best pizza ever, topped with eggplant and garlic? The amazing over-satisfying lunch we had two days ago in the village of Castiglione, waited on by the chef himself, the eight of us barely able to squeeze in to the dining room? At home: soups and pastas and Irish porridge and only the best local wine?
Or perhaps I should dedicate a whole post to the rambunctious party we attended last Sunday, the food and wine seemingly in endless supply, the dancing bordering on maniacal, the guests all hilarious and welcoming. Then there’s the Camino de Santiago, a pilgrimage across Spain that both Colm and Adi (husband and wife hosts) have done, both alone. They swear that this walk is nothing short of life changing, and I’m listening wondering when and how soon I can do it myself. We have been to a ski resort, played in lots of dirt, competed against each other in Scrabble, and gone on many a hilly hike either up or down to the nearest villages.
To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted. —Bill Bryson
I will ponder on all these things, finish my hot chocolate, and then get back to putting compost down on the olive trees. Then I might actually get into specifics and give you guys more than just a photo-filled teaser post. Ah, but for your loyalty, I shall bestow upon you one more picture! Did I happen to mention that while I was digging in the garden two days ago, I unexpectedly came across some old animal bones? Not just any bones, either- some teeth that probably belonged to a wolf. Oh so exciting! I felt like I was back in Germany in 2005, excavating 12th century artifacts. This is one of those times when it’s quite easy to do something new or different every day, and I’m liking it.
The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance. –Alan Watts