Coming back here, to Italy, is a reckoning with myself. I touch a wall that, if gripped too soundly, will crumble under my palm and I remember all that has been. The tenacity and vulnerability of all that surrounds me here never ceases to move me. Tenacious in its pride and longevity. Vulnerable in its aging decadence that exposes, in the most eloquent way possible, its own cracks and crevices.
Walking down a street in a village in this territory I know so well, I hear the callings that echo my own inner voice. The familiarity is startling. Because since coming here the very first time, none of this has ever felt foreign.
I know that living here can be rife with challenges. I am reminded quickly if I try to do anything outside of enjoying the food, wine and surroundings. I know what it was like to do business here, and how people struggle to just stay above water. We did it ourselves - the struggle - for a decade. But when my hand passes across one of these broken walls, my heart aches to forget the struggle and register only the unending, relentless beauty that comes at me from every direction.
So I take it now for what it is, in this moment. This moment, Italy is my great love. I walk my dog at night in our medieval village, and the locals, sitting outside in their homes directly on the walkway, greet us like old friends. The castle is lit golden against a dark blue sky and I try to absorb the moment.