I owe you an apology, I feel I have neglected you.
This posting has been a long time coming, the last, half written was holding me back I fear.
With such an interlude encompassing another season it made it so difficult deciding what should be noted and what should be omitted…so much has happened and I found other things pressing.
I promise you it won't happen again!
Life here, up a mountain in northern Tuscany continues to fill me with a deeper satisfaction than I have
ever experienced. Living this simple life replenishes my soul.
Whilst helping my neighbours pick olives recently, I found my head became full of thoughts concerning the important task at hand.
How important to collect all the fallen olives, for this was food, soon to become Olive Oil….. so intrinsically beneficial for our health.
Regular intake reduces the risk of heart disease, decreases blood pressure and helps to prevent certain cancers, acts as an anti-inflammatory amongst many other things……it's good stuff!
So lovely working in the fresh cool air with the banter and laughter exchanging between us.
A man from the next village also helped, working up the ladder pruning as Laura and I picked and Luciano rattled his stick amongst the branches encouraging the olives to tumble.
Every so often, the man up the ladder burst into song made us all smile.
Before I go……..looking back briefly over last year, I felt the most inspiring story I would like to share with you was that of Antoine, the lovely young Frenchman who arrived on his bicycle from Rome!
For those of you who don't already know the story.......Antoine was sleeping down by the church at the end of our lane when Genevieve, one of our lovely HelpX guests came across him.........our dogs disturbed Antoine so Genevieve invited him to meet us. I had just cleared a small table under the Wisteria ready to settle into some writing when I became aware of a bicycle being pushed into view and voices!
Offering Antoine coffee and refreshments we sat together exchanging stories about how we came to be at this place............he had recently had a holiday in Rome with his parents when he decided to return, buy a bicycle and ride back to France!
I was incredibly impressed that this bright young man should have the vision to set out on such a venture.
He cycled in the direction his fancy took him.......such a wonderful sense of freedom!
Rome is five hours from us, it took Antoine five days!
Soon after a funny coincidence occurred when I made an entry on my www.facebook.com/settimocieloretreat page (and do have a peep!).
Someone else had also met Antoine when he walked into a book shop in a town about half an hour from us a day earlier.
A lady who engaged in conversation as impressed as I, offered that he could stay with her and her husband over night!
Juliet wrote to me, we were not friends at the time, she had read my page entry.
Another interesting liaison of which I am sure there will be more to discover very soon!
HaPPy New Year Everyone……..may it bring good health and much laughter……oh and a more open mind to embrace whatever next! X