In this time marked by the disintegration of morality in our politically frayed America, where hateful politicians posing as caring humans justify their inhumane practices by treating children with the cold abuse of a Nazi, we must hold on to hope. That fragile and slender of emotions that alone fuels my soul, and no doubt yours, hope, elusive yet necessary. Thankfully for me, this past week, there is the reminder, where there is love one can find hope. Of course there is the always love of family, of sunshine and water, of a cool breeze after a hard day, but in this crazy here and now, I find the love of these friends. Friends who arrived from luck yet stayed dear through the years. Without a falter, these women are there. Yes, lucky me indeed. They provide me hope to endure.
Is there ever a week unscathed by tragedy? From losing the genius of Kate Spade to a Supreme Court that ruled against same-sex cakes to Trump’s continuously rancorous tweets embarrassing the America our grandparents worked and lived and died to shape, and that’s just the stuff of yesterday. That’s not even the abuse or despair or neglect or poverty or dead-ends so many Americans are facing this very minute every single day. Twice this week we tried to watch the evening news, but as the lead stories were homicide, actually there were two one night, we decided to pass. Sure I want to be informed, but I’d like to know about the good too. Like how some start-up was giving back to their community, or a couple on the verge of divorce thought maybe their two kids were worth another go and called a therapist for communication help or maybe someone decided to stop eating sugar and processed foods, and now a year later many of their ill-health issues are abated? Or how about the local high school students who stood in the doorway, greeting everyone who entered with a smile? All of this happens every day, over and over, in all of our communities, but it’s only a footnote that wraps up the news hour. Never the headliner. Never the grabber. Is it that we can’t get enough of drama? Even watching a tennis match the announcers slip in divisive tidbits about the players, as if their 106 mph service shot isn’t enough to hold our attention.
Thankfully I have a backyard. Hopefully you do too. Or a park. Or any space with a tree or two. Where the sky shines down and shows you some green all lit up with that gold. And you can breathe.
This week especially, maybe because of the full moon or who the heck knows, there’s been a divisive air in the air. People have been out to get someone. Even people who normally bat for your team, now are eyeing you sideways, judging your every move. I’ve done my best to ignore these astrological blasts in the past, but the last few days, wow, it’s stretched my good nature. Tonight, instead of crawling deep into fetal, we decided to blast the other direction, head to game night.
Driving along my road home, both front windows open, the sky draws my eyes upward. This is one of those late spring days that you remember. Actually, it is just this moment, not the whole day, but you get my meaning. Ordinary yet memorable. Worth holding on to a little longer. The scene? Rolling hills all around me. Cows out to pasture. Horses too. Green fields popping with yellow dandelions. A flock of geese settled down momentarily by a reedy pond. Black birds darting from one side of the road to the other as a dare, they play, cavalier about the outcome. How close they flap by my bumper! Crabapple blossoms cover each and every branches with puffs of pale pink and even speeding past their fragrance is a wafting sweetness. All this in one flash of a moment.
There is nothing about Italia I do not love. I know I sound like a blushing bride, all floaty and superficial, but as we traversed quickly from one region to the next, I was made drunk on the beauty, the language, the history, and certainly the food. Yes, in love, indeed.
Most, I am certain, have seen these sights before, if not with your own eyes then in photos, so there is little use of me writing another travelogue; but I do hope you come along with me all the same. This trip, two years in the making, finally underway, took a team, all smiles, from the moment we touched down until… well we’re still smiling.
Just about any season might be a possible walking season, but early April in Vermont might be the toughest there is for this activity. Roads are muddy and rutty, generally wet and even icy in shady spots, but still, with extra determination, I get outside when I can face it. Even if my long coat is required and I must wear a wool hat, the sunshine is delicious. The icy north wind dictates how long or short these jaunts can last, but one does build fortitude while combating such conditions, right?