I am feeling a little at loose ends today. Leif is in Sweden hosting a wine tasting and visiting his family. I am here in Florence with a lot of time on my hands. Time I am using to think and (yes Augsburg) reflect on the last few months.
Today as I was hanging the curtains I bought in the market I realized that I have begun nesting. These curtains are the first thing I have purchased for our apartment that hasn’t had a definite use. We don’t need curtains in the kitchen, but it is the room we spend the most time in and so I want it to feel a little cozier, a little more personal. I surprised myself with this…I didn’t realize till I was hanging those curtains that until now I have sort of held back a bit and acted more like a visitor than a resident of Florence.
I came here in October to discover some things about myself. I needed to know if the connection I felt to Italy during my class in 2009 was real, or just a romantic feeling about someplace that is so very different from Minnesota. I’ve seen people come back from vacations convinced that they need to go back, and often when they do their experience wasn’t the same and they agree that it’s a nice place to visit, but…
So I came here to see if that feeling of serenity would still be with me, or if it was just a part of that particular trip and group of people. I needed to know if my body and mind really did flourish here, or if it was just something that I wished for. After four months here I now know that for whatever reason, I feel comfortable here. The rhythms of daily life really do match the rhythm of my body. I have that totally relaxed feeling you get on the second day of vacation, when you are finally unpacked and know you don’t have to do anything for the next week. Except that I never have to go back home because I am already here.
I also came to experience love with a very special man. I met him on the same trip that I met Italy and I have been unable to forget either of them. One of the instructors told me that she saw our attraction for each other grow from the moment we met. I don’t know if that’s the case, but as the days went by we did spend time in conversation and found that there was a lot in the other person to like. When I returned to the states we kept in touch and soon our talks were a regular part of our week. That’s when he started to become as much a reason to come back to Italy as Italy itself was for me.
He’s loving and kind, very intelligent and thoughtful. He’s physically fit and incredibly sexy. He loves to kiss and hold hands and do other mushy things. He knows wine and food so every meal is an occasion. He’s not perfect of course, but neither am I. (sorry Mom, it’s true) For instance, I need to speak Italian so that neither of us has the advantage of our native tongue. It will be an ugly, messy massacre of the Italian language for awhile, and I will embarrass myself more often than I will make myself understood, but it will be good for the relationship in the long run. It's worth a little embarrassment, after four months together I can’t imagine life without him. I know, that’s a big statement to make, but I feel I can do this. I have had more love in my lifetime than most people get. I know that. I’m not taking this one for granted. I hope I have the strength and the courage and the wisdom to make this relationship as great as it promises to be.