The 1st of November, in Italy, begins a two-day holiday when Italian people celebrate saints and remember, in chorus, their dead. On the same day, for the past 16 years, I quietly celebrate my anniversary with Italy. This year, I am in Barga for the occasion. Here, from in a little house I am renting with my family, I celebrated by taking in the view. The backdrop from Barga, of the La Pania Secca and Monte Forato, allows me to look out over the landscape where I finally found myself at home in Italy. Its lush layout takes me to places like Calomini, Gallicano, Fornovolasco, La Grotta del Vento and Trombacco. All of these places have welcomed me for a time, and I have called them home.
Sixteen years with Italy
Sixteen years have passed since I first landed in Pisa, not far from here, and took the slow road to Siena. I will never forget the long, uncomfortable drive along tree-lined Tuscan roads; the young man’s face who drove me, and my heavy luggage, to meet my host family at the train station in Siena.
I remember clearly and with compassion for myself, the first few days living with an Italian family and navigating the newness of Italian life without a compass, without a word or way to connect.
The good news is, everything worked out beautifully. Sixteen years later, I have a life I couldn't have designed for myself. Without Italy in my life, I would not have my two little half bloods or their Papa’. I would not have my family or the fun of trying to keep us engaged with the two distant places we call home.
Writing my way home
This blog is a place for the stories that are now embedded in my relationship with Italy. It is also a place to talk about where Italy takes me now. I look forward to fine tuning my voice here in the same style that I re-established a sense of home on new ground in Italy. With some discomfort and a great deal of passion, I will work at revealing the essence of an idea that has come to define my way of life. That way is something I call, Traveling Native. Traveling Native is the relationship I have with home. The main ingredients of that relationship are the people I have met along the way as well as those who have been with me always.
If you are reading this, you are a part of my home. Considering the grand constellation of friends and family, my home has a way of growing and going where I go. It is an honor to share this space with you. I hope you will visit me here from time to time as I expand it, Traveling Native.
Welcome to The Scenery!!