Aug 1 2013

Bells, Sheep and Sunsets

the hills of umbria

We have been home from Europe for almost a month. It is beginning to feel like a dream and that scares me. I seldom dream. And even less often, I remember what I dream. So some of the next blogs are going to be the retelling of a dream. In hopes that I don’t forget.

I wish I could tell you there will be some order or rhyme. A chronological progression through England, Italy, and France. It’s not going to be that. Think of it more like, “Where in the World is…?”

And our first stop is Italy…

The ability to be in more than one place at a time is not a new wish. Who can forget Dolly?

Screen Shot 2013-07-31 at 3.31.12 PM

The scientific introduction to cloning. And in the same year, 1996, Michael Keaton did a movie called Multiplicity. He cloned himself and set out to divide and conquer. (Pun intended.) We are curious to know if we can live outside ourselves, our physical bodies.

I’ve told my children on several occasions that I cannot be in two places at once. Now I am realizing that is not entirely true. Though we cannot create physical clones of ourselves (to which my husband shouts “Hallelujah”) we do have an innate ability to be in two places at once.

 

Casa La Ripe

That’s me in Italy. It represents a piece of me that is still there.

Every now and then, my mind wanders to noon, outside the little village of Poggio Aquilone. The bells from the ancient rock church propped on the edge of the hill echo through the lush valley. Metal hits metal and reminds those within a large radius that the day is steadily moving on. An invitation to pause and listen. To be still and let the twelve chimes surround and envelope.

A sermon in rich tones.

“Today is all you have. There will never be another day like today.”

I got home and realized I had left behind a piece of me. Would I learn to compensate? Would I pine away and long for wholeness again? Would I even be able to find the pieces should I return to those places?

But Europe didn’t take anything from me. It was an exchange. I left part of me there and made room to bring something of Europe home with me.

I miss the church bells. The day doesn’t seem as sacred without them. But I look at the stark hills across the valley. The sun is setting. It radiates through the clouds and paints the sky a myriad of colors I cannot even name. Something stirs. And I am reminded again.

 “Today is all I have. There will never be another day like today.”

I close my eyes and visit the little village on the hill in the heart of Italy. And in the quietness of the Nevada desert, I hear the bells chime.