14 May 2009

First Steps in Italy

I meant to keep a daily journal of this move to Italy- that is after all the purpose of the blog about the journey! But, I was unable to write for the first month. I didn't have the energy to tackle it- not once. Four weeks later and finally in our own apartment, I want to start, have the energy to start. Today.
I sit on our balcony listening to birdsong and looking at the Apenine Mts. There's a haze at the base of the the Maiela Mt. portion of the range directly south so that the snow capped peaks look like they're floating in midair. The range continues 180 degrees around us to the west and north layered behind one behind the other. Grand Saso, due west, has the range's highest peaks that form the jagged outline of a sleeping woman.
The countryside spreading out from our home to the mountains is lushly green after spring rains. Vineyards are everywhere and sprouting new leaves. The silver green olive trees gather in groves that grace the hilly landscape. Farmhouses here and there with red tile roofs are surrounded by newly plowed ground and newly planted crops. Small clusters of homes and ancient towns are on hilltops in the distance.
East is the Adriatic, although the sea is indistinguishable from the blue haze today. It is quiet except for a neighbor's music playing and his occasional outbursts of song. Down the hill, a dog barks his warning at infrequent passersby. Jasmine nearby and the the next door neighbor's lavender, rosemary, basil and bay leaves scent the air.
We are in our own apartment now after a month of getting utilities turned on and in our name and our permit to stay (permeso di soggiorno) applied for. It seemed endless, confusing and frustrating going through it although friends here say it went remarkably quickly for Italy. The hoop jumping and the conflicting advice on which hoops to jump through and how left me bewildered and tired.
Our saving graces, our guides, our friends- Emily and Enzo! We met them once last November when we came to sign papers for the apartment. They offered us a place to stay until we had utilities, drove us here, there and everywhere to get things done and served as translators, advocates and all round angels enabling us to get everything done. I feel such awe and gratitude at their generosity.
It seems impossible that I was so overwhelmed that I couldn't even write. I wanted to chronicle it all, these first steps of the journey, but just couldn't. I could only put one foot in front of the other and take another step. So I start here, in my own home, in Italy, with a bed, 2 sets of shelves, an outdoor table and chairs and 2 good friends. Maybe it's not such a bad place to start from.

1 comment:

  1. hi there! i am so glad to see you back on line and updating....especially since the phone calls are shorter and less frequent. i cannot imagine how hard this past month has been and how isolating and i think you put it into perfect words when describing yourself. but i guess that must be part of what this is all about - discovering new parts of yourself that would not be as accessible in more comfort zone places. i love you and i look forward to staying in touch this way!!


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