I have spent about 8 months in Italy in the last year, coming and going, between Cortona and Portland, Oregon. The last trip was this year from January to May, the longest I have lived in Italy since 2001. It was wonderful and also challenging. I had some incredible adventures, great travel experiences, and was able to spend quality time with my dear friends in Cortona.
I also missed home, Portland. Like crazy. After living in Italy for so many months, alone, I realized that what I wanted most of all was to be with family, my kids, friends I have known forever and I wanted to stay PUT. I have been living in both Portland and Italy for so many years, never in one place more than a few months and it has become increasing more difficult. I am so fortunate to have been able to realize this long time dream, to have a home and a community in Italy. To belong. I am so appreciative to all those that helped me to realize this dream, I could not have done it alone.
What I long for now has changed. I want to be rooted, be sane, and be still. I want to stop moving. This is something that is so foreign to me, but I find that I must cultivate.
The time I spent in Cortona this past spring was one of inner reflection and I wondered what was “next” once I returned to Portland. I knew I needed to sink into and create something meaningful. My kids were grown pretty much, Corey would be going back to college, Jesse was clear that he would be moving out of my house and into a home with friends, into and towards his independent adult life.
The nest was going to be empty.
And I had no idea what I would do next.
I had the opportunity to stay at a friends house in the countryside outside of Cortona, the last few days of my time there in late May. I kept to myself pretty much, surrounded by beautiful olive groves, a lush garden, incredible views and I lived in a beautiful centuries old stone farmhouse. I spent several days writing on page after page of copy paper and making a list of sorts, of what I wanted to create in my life, and a list of qualities that I wanted to cultivate in myself. It has always been my belief that when you set an intention(s), you can manifest this in your life experience. So I made my list, following the guidelines of a friend that shared with me a similar process. I wrote, I edited, I did lots of soul searching.
I worked HARD.
I have never really done anything so thorough where I examined myself and my desires so totally.
The experience was transforming. Not what I expected.
It was great.
I wrote my final list on a two dozen pages of beautiful handmade Amalfi paper and taped the pages together to form a scroll that was 15 feet long. I took the list, along with some rosebuds and hung out under the olive trees on this last beautiful spring day in Italy, facing the Val di Chiana below Cortona. I read the list back to myself out loud and set the intention of manifest this list
And I asked, “Please tell me what is next”.
The most wonderful feeling of peace and calm descended on me, and I left Italy the next morning with no idea of what the future would hold, but I was happy to be finally heading home for the next adventure.
The ”next” I was asking for showed up a few days after I landed in Portland…………..