Thursday, March 02, 2006

Secret Garden in Tuscany

That afternoon I took the car and went exploring out into the country. I think a place has a way of fitting or not fitting—like clothes, or shoes, or a silence with another person. It’s got something to do with the proportion of sky to land—the view, the warmth. Some places seem to fit just right. They match my sense of space. This was one. I fit the terrain and it fit me.

I drove for over an hour without seeing another car, another person, or any kind of machine. I didn’t mind. It made me feel even more like I was in my own world. I had this smiling sort of music fantasy playing. It was The Three Tenors singing on CD. I directed them until I switched to Peter Gabriel’s Secret Garden in Italy. Then I welcomed an old friend.

“Prego.” I remember thinking as I put the CD in.

“Buona Sera” Peter Gabriel started.

I was with my music and within my world.

I drove and drove, swimming down the road in music. Slowly driving I was taking everything in. I didn’t know where I was going, but I knew that I would get there. I knew for sure I’d know it too—when I got there—the same way I know my own feet, the same way I know when the sun comes up. I’d know that I was where I should be.

And when I got there.

There I was.

I pulled the car over off the blacktop. Got out and walked across the road. Sat down on the softest grass and looked upon the world’s Secret Garden. It went from where I sat to someplace past infinity—past and back. It went from where the ground begins to where the sky comes gently down. I was sitting on top of a planet. Finally I understood how Christopher Columbus could cross a fierce and mighty ocean in three tiny wooden ships because he believed the world was round.

Everything was green and growing. It was all alive and open. A path right down the center seemed to go all the way to heaven. It was as if all that I loved was in each leaf, each blade of grass, each shade of green. The air was fresh. The sky was clear. I felt peaceful. I felt brand new.

I stretched forward, front to the ground like a kid watching TV on the living room floor. My hands came up together under my chin. My elbows in the grass supported them. My knees bent. My feet were up in the air, crossed at the ankles. I looked down the hill at my finest feelings and my dearest memories. I looked at my life and realized I liked what I saw.

Nothing could be taken from me because everything I love is free.
—me strauss Letting me be


dsnake1 said...

from where i came from, i could never find the rolling green hills you saw, little time to sit on the grass for some quiet moments.
it was all concrete and glass, traffic jams, angry drivers, deadlines.

p.s. lovely article.

ME Strauss said...

Thank you dsnake. These hills are on the way to Florence. The time and quiet are all in my mind. :)

The village where my grandmother grew up was very small and very slow like that though. I remember how much I loved being there.


mergrl said...

this is one of the most beautiful vacations I have ever taken :0) so peaceful and rejuvinating, thank you


ME Strauss said...

Hi Mergrl,
Only the best for you, my little flower. . . :)

We'll do something new and different tomorrow.


Trée said...

"Nothing could be taken from me because everything I love is free"

Liz, I think I'm going to write this down and meditate on it all day tomorrow. I need to hear this. Thanks for being that voice for me. :-)

ME Strauss said...

Thank you for giving me purpose.

Trée said...

Liz, I suspect many feel the same way I do. Your view of life brings the sun to the greyness of my life. I feel uplifted when I come to visit and I don't want to leave.

ME Strauss said...

Thank you, sweetness.
Sundhine is a good thing, a warm thing. It comforts and lights our days.