It’s been a long time since I’ve decided to write. Hard to write about travel and culture in a pandemic, I suppose. I’ve awoken, like the world, with fresh ideas. Hopes. Dreams. While we are emerging from our corners of the world, I still feel some of the essence of the lessons learned during the lockdown. Every experience is a teacher. The beauty of a great home cooked meal, planting flowers, slowing down. Home became a great place of culture instead of the old running off to a restaurant, or a weekend spent flying somewhere cool. Ok… truth was, we couldn’t! Yet, now, I am clinging tightly to my home base and of the goodness that has been created.
And so it goes… I have lived in my home for many years. I have a little patio. In America, the big yard, landscaped grass, perfect flowerbeds and fancy accoutrements of outdoor living are the normal. I’d never thought much about my little square of cement in my fairly unadorned little postage stamp of a green patch of yard. Lockdown at home forced me outside. Pre and post dinner cocktails on the front porch, al fresco dining on the patio. I came to love this little magical spot. Not one bit fancy or high end, just a dingy cement patio.
While visiting Italy a few years ago, I noticed that every little patio, alley, balcony, fire escape, staircase, was maximized for lifestyle and beauty. A pot with a few flowers, a metal chair and bistro table set, a few cushions, tablecloth or a curtain… simple, colorful and lovely. They didn’t faux finish the walls, or run to a super-store to buy the latest patio set, they just lived right there and right now.
So, back to my patio. It’s not in Italy, but it sure is Italian. I’ve taken my little metal table and chairs and surrounded it with pots of cheerful flowers, a fragrant herb container garden bursting with basil, rosemary, sage, mint, and oregano, a lantern, a red market umbrella, and a blue and white patterned rag rug which reminds me of Italian tile. At night we have wine and make gourmet pizza in our pizza oven and slow dance in the cool, stubby grass.
Life is happening now. Planning adventures and our next big trip while enjoying the moment. La Dolce Vita. Life is sweet. Life is delicious.