Whilst it is undoubtedly true that we can be at home within ourselves anywhere, anytime it also helps to find that special place that makes the feeling of ‘home’ within ourselves easier to access. These special places can allow us to blossom into who we are really meant to be.
Perhaps it is for some of us where we are born but for others it’s a place that is discovered, that sings to us and pulls us in and when we find it, we know. Perhaps it is not a forever place but it is a place that calls us to live and learn a part of us that can only be truly learned there. Perhaps then that lesson is carried to other places and times. This is such a time in my life now and it is not something I ignore. I’ve taken some difficult options to get to the point where ‘I can’ so to put it simply, ‘I am’.
I'm on a month’s sojourn in a tiny town in Italy called Mercatello sul Metauro that I’ve had an association with for almost ten years. Little by little it’s taught me a lot. As Italian towns go, whilst it is beautiful, it is not filled with incredible monuments but it is filled with authenticity and peace and a slow way of life that pulls me in every time and I leave wanting more. I feel very grounded here. I am in harmony with this place, with its soul and its bones. It’s taught me about acceptance, acceptance for other cultures and people and their way of life and patience to put aside my expectations and to believe what needs to happen, will. It’s taught me gratitude for the opportunities I have and for who I am as a person and for the experiences and people that have been and are still in my life.
It isn’t only this tiny place that calls me though; I'm feeling the need to spend time in Italy, to live a little differently and connect more fully with myself and my passions for self-expression through writing and art. This month in Mercatello is stage one. Stage two will come a few months from now when, armed with an Italian VISA, I’ll be free to explore more and settle in one place for longer.
When I first arrived in Rome on my way to Mercatello and even after the excessively long flight from Australia, I could feel the energy of this country. It was like coming home, coming home to me. It’s peaceful and calming yet also energizing and inspiring, calling me to write how I feel, to bring out the paint and create. But I can also sit and ‘be’ here without that constant need to ‘do’ and the combination is glorious and I am forever grateful for the opportunity.
And so it starts, this venturing into trying to live in my harmony place, at least for a while. I feel whole here, at peace here, free here. One of my favourite books, Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes challenges us to give ourselves opportunities to blossom and I’ve decided to accept the challenge. This is my time.