Monday, June 14, 2010

La Cena Sotto il Baldacchino di Natura

If there is one thing I am going to go home and remember about living with an Italian family for a month and half, its going to be dinnertime. I've worked myself into a routine here at my Italian family's home. I wake up around 10 a.m., take a shower, and read or write until 1:30. At 1:30 I go downstairs for lunch. By 2:30 we finish with lunch and I go back upstairs. Until around 5 or 6 p.m., I read, write, or paint. Then, I'll normally take a short drive with my Italian mother to run errands of some sort or another. By the time we get home, she busies herself with cooking dinner and I take up whatever activity I was doing before I left until 8:30. Then, its dinner time. And I enjoy that dinner time more than anything. We sit together until 10:30 and even 11 at night sometimes, talking and eating and enjoying the simplest, most peaceful of activites.

Every night I go downstairs and can expect to eat one of my Italian mother's heavenly creations. Some nights she makes homemade pesto, my single favorite Italian dish. Other nights she makes zucchini zeppoles. She makes barbeques on their homemade grill, she knows how to cook about 100 different pasta dishes, her vegetables are sometimes more delicious than the main course. I can't explain how excellent of a chef this woman is. If she came to America, she'd make billions. This is my every night. And every night she prepares a dinner table outside, underneath a canopy they'd been growing for years. The llimbs of this tree twist around and around overhead until they reach the side of the house. In the summer and fall, this tree flowers; delicate blues and whites blossom forth and grace the moonlight. I sit underneath this canopy of nature and enjoy the life I'm living. My little glass of wine is always full, my satisfied stomach groans with pleasure-for those two hours underneath that fabulous canopy I enjoy the company, my life, and myself.

I'm in my own world. I talk spend that time with my Italian family, but I'm always musing in my own head. I may not pray, but over dinner I certainly count my blessings. Of which there are quite a few. I think about the fact that I've been living in Italy, one of the most picturesque countries in the entire world. I think about how I was lucky enough to live with a family so wonderful and kind. I think about how amazing it was to have such fun in Florence. I think about how blessed I am to have traveled through five countries, and how blessed I am that I've got time to do more. All of these things occur to me underneath the canopy I love so much. And then I take another bite out of whatever my Italian mother has cooked up that night, and I count my blessings all over again.
Arrivederci, for now.
Love, Gabby

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