30 May 2011

Nostalgia / Homesick

After five days' travel in the nearby regions of Le Marche and Umbria and a week-long absence from Mabel, my dog, who enjoyed her own holiday with an Italian family, we are again reunited.  Mabel stays close to me and tells me when she wants to be petted and just how and where to carezzarla (to pet her).  She is by nature a non-demanding little girl, but today she has no qualms asking for exactly what she wants and needs.  I love her style.

Crossing the central Apennino mountains

Meanwhile, it has been my desire to see every square inch, or centimeter, of Italy since I first fell in love with this amazing place.  However, this trip, I observed something out of character.

Fermignano (Le Marche)

Urbino (Le Marche)

Urbino (Le Marche)

I was homesick.

Abundance of sweet, fresh cherries

Castello della Pieve (Le Marche)

I have no memory of ever being homesick.  I have traveled on my own, without my folks, since I was a fairly small child, and I do not ever remember looking forward to going back home.  I always found it interesting when people say what a great trip they had, "but there is no place like home.  Home Sweet Home."    Only one time a few years ago do I remember being excited to return to Los Angeles, and that was because I was dating someone I was pretty crazy about and could not wait to see him again.

Urbino (Le Marche), Italy

Mercatale sul Metauro (Le Marche)

Sant'Angelo in Vado (Le Marche)

Only five days away from home this time, yet every day I longed for my home.  I missed my people; Mabel; my daily rituals and routines (never thought I would say that); my bed, a matrimoniale (two twin beds zipped together and not long enough for my altezza (height) but I missed it nonetheless); my yoga mat and hoop; certain routes I take; certain people I see daily; a certain someone who gives me a juicy kiss.

Gubbio (Umbria) (above 2 fotos)

I could not help but wonder:  What is wrong with me?  What happened to my sense of adventure and my love for exploration?  Maybe it had to do with the space I was in. This was a first for me.

Amicizia (friendship)
 Lifelong friends and local men of  Mercatale sul Metauro (Le Marche)

Old bridge and house at Mercatale sul Metauro

Without needing to figure it all out, what I observed this past week confirms for me that home is where the heart is, and Florence, Italy, is my home.  

Growing old together
Gubbio (Umbria)

I am home!

22 May 2011

My Dog, Mabel, Leaves for her Holiday in Campi Bisenzio, Florence, Italy

written by La Mamma Ansiosa

Today Mabel packed her suitcase -- a blue Ikea bag filled with her favorite things, food, and toiletries -- and has left to begin her week-long vacation with a family in Campi Bisenzio, a suburb of Florence, Italy. Her adopted Italian family for the week includes the two cutest 2 and 5 year olds, Niccolo and Sara, with gorgeous giant globes for eyes.  It is like summer language camp.  Mabel will have a week of immersion and return home with a much stronger understanding of the Italian language and culture.  (I want to go to summer camp too.) The little girl arrived with a couple of her stuffed animals to take Mabel to her house.  I do hope Sara will hold on tight to her toys because Mabel has a thing about hoarding other dogs' and children's toys.  She places them under her neck and all around her body, and when the dog or child wants one of their toys back, Mabel just looks at them very smuggly as if to say "haahaa, you can't have it" while the other wimpers and cries afraid to reclaim the toy.

Mabel sprawled out on two of her beds on a hot day

I hope Mabel and her host family will enjoy many adventures and lots of fun together.

Mabel was unaware that she is going on vacation and that I will not join her.  After the children were buckled into their car seats, Mabel climbed into the back of the SUV and settled in.  We closed the door after many kisses.  My heart broke as they all drove off.  Mabel looked at me, her eyes fixed on me, not understanding why I was left behind.  The look in her eyes was as though she thought that would be the last time she would ever see me.

I cried.  

But meanwhile, there is the mommy, La Mamma Ansiosa.  That would be me. I am in favor of Mabel going off and exploring new things, but she is still my baby.  

A giant sea separates attachment and detachment. Letting go is very painful for those of us who suffer from our attachments.  But in this case, I know we will soon see each other again in just under a week.  

Non vedo l'ora. I can't wait / I look forward to it.