It has been raining all day. Steady soaking, incredible, beautiful rain. Not rain and gale force winds which toppled over greenhouses and snapped trees in two like yesterday. Not rains combined with hail that turned our creek into a raging torrent and made rooves cave in like last Sunday. Steady, beautiful, wonderful rain. After Al left today, the kids and I spent much of the day horizontal. I ended up cuddling Kevin and Rosie for most of the afternoon as I listened to a movie with one ear, and the rain with the other. It was a simple, but lovely afternoon.
Last night when the storm came through and we lost power for a couple of hours, we played pictionary. We lit some candles, sat out on the deck as the light faded, put on fleeces to deal with the cool change that had swept through town and played a board game. It was a lovely few hours and I liked having no internet, no computer and no tv. I was almost disappointed when the power came on though it did allow me to make Al my favourite spaghetti dish for dinner. Another exercise in simplicity. Olive oil, garlic, capers, olives and spaghetti. Simplicity that was divinely and supremely delicious.
Someone asked me recently why I keep returning to Italy as there are so many other places to visit in the world. I had to think about it, but then I replied that I have come to the point in my life where I have two countries I love and I want to spend the rest of my life getting to know them as well as I possibly can. I prefer that idea to visiting a million places and knowing that I never really got to know any of them at all. I think it is a modern thing. Visit more places, buy more things, get more devices, more, more, more. Quality seems to be less important than quantity.
Others ask me what our plans are when we are in Italy. Apart from going away for Christmas we don’t have any plans. We are going to play it by ear. I would love to just drive some days. Maybe jump on a train some other days. Hang out with our friends. Buy schiacciata and gelato. Smell tomatoes and walk along laneways that are lined with olive trees. No plans as it is the simplicity of Italy and the fact I have no plans that I love most of all.
We live in a world where we try to do it all. Yet by trying to do everything, we often achieve nothing. It is when we stop trying to do everything, and work out what is important, that we can give the best parts of ourselves to what matters most. That is why simplicity is so magical. Simplicity and gratitude makes what you have enough. More than enough, it makes it bountiful.
We have had such a wonderful weekend. Good company. Good food. A dirt road. A game of pictionary. Candles on the deck. Hours spent cuddling my dogs and listening to the sound of rain on the roof. Hanging out with Archie and Rissie. It is the simple things in life that make my soul sing. Sometimes it seems that the less I want and need, the richer I become.