It is the bells of Italy that stays with me as if absorbed in my body since returning home the end of October from my month-long adventure. It was in the town Cortona perched in the Tuscan hills, Florence, many village squares, and fishing villages that carried the echo of bells. There were times when bells of churches and clock towers in squares blended together. When I would stand in a square or sit on the charming B&B terrace in Trebiano and the bells would ring, I'd close my eyes and take pause. I'd remain still to simply listen allowing the echo to wash over me.
I miss Italy. I miss walking the streets and stopping for an espresso. I miss the friends I made that took me on adventures I wouldn't have otherwise known about. The walled villages where everyone walks and stops at cafes, sits on the steps of a church to feel the sun and people watch, the bold vibrant color of buildings in fishing villages, and the bells that ring echoing through the narrow streets are all strong images that I carry with me.
The journey that led me to Italy was a long and trying one. In my book, "Caution: Mermaid Crossing"--Voyages of a Motherless Daughter, I wrote about dreams of traveling to Italy again, to feel a purpose on the other side of breast cancer, to break out of my shell after hibernating with a long health crisis and challenging life confusion where, lo and behold...opportunities found me. The remarkable occurrence of literally manifesting what I was writing continues to amaze me. I have to acknowledge all those that lovingly supported me in my healing and writing. Writing (writing well) is the hardest work I've ever done. There are times when I still struggle with believing in myself...my abilities, strength and talent. It's been a very long road and when challenged in spirit and heart, I take pause, listen for the echoing of bells to restore faith in my plight and trust that I'm evolving to a place of vibrant health, blessed by getting my book published and continuing my journey of traveling and sharing both my writing and workshop, "Living and Healing Through Color', which I was fortunate enough to share in Italy via a sponsorship from sendmeonvacation.org. The tides can shift and change can happen as swift as the movement of the big hand on a clock bell tower. I'm grateful for the fresh opportunities and adventures I've worked toward and been blessed with. And as life moves forward and the new decade of 2020 meets us all, I send wishes for dreams manifesting and abundant hopes realized.
Happy Holidays and may the sound of beautiful bells ring in the New Year for you. Keep on swimming through life, Valerie