I saw Letters to Juliet last night. The story was just as predictable as expected, but I loved the movie. I may go see it again today and will surely buy the DVD. Not for the story, but for the chance to see the hills and valleys, the trees and hillsides, the golden glow of Tuscany.
I am meant to go to Tuscany some day. I'm interested in many places in the world, but only Tuscany calls to me in the night. Something waits for me there, and when the time is right, I'll find my way to it. This, I know.
On Thursday, I worked from 6:00 am to 2:00 am Friday. I did go to a local coffee shop for a few hours of the marathon, but mostly I sat in a chair with my nose pointed toward the screen of my laptop and the deadline in front of me. This is of no particular importance other than this sort of leaden lumpiness is the exact opposite of the feeling I have for Tuscany.
As I knew it would, the scenery of Tuscany lifted me, gave me a frisson of my favorite feeling in the world, that of being in alignment with the Universe. It has happened to me a handful of times, always when I've stepped beyond my normal boundaries and risked something, always when I've followed my heart to places my head would not lead me.
Maybe it's because being in alignment is about vibration and sound is a vibration, but every one of these experiences has a sound track, a song so present I feel as much as hear it. I've written here about the 4th of July I rented jet skis and screeched across White Bear Lake, screaming along with Tom Petty's voice in my head...and my bones and my heart. "I'm free...free falling...."
Lindsay Buckingham and Fleetwood Mac reverberated through the Wrangell Mountains, telling me to "go my own way" as I meditated on a rock in the middle of an honest-to-God tundra during a break from a bike ride across Alaska.
Kenny Loggins boomed from my radio early one morning, assuring me I was right where I belonged as I rounded the curve down to the harbor of Duluth, MN. The man I was dating was running Grandma's Marathon, and I got up that morning wishing I could see him cross the finish line. The kids were at their dad's house for the weekend, and I rattled around the house a bit, vaguely dissatisfied and sad. As though my fairy godmother touched me with the wand of understanding, all at once, I realized I could go, I could just get in my car and drive there. It was a revelation, a recognition of freedom.
I had only the vaguest idea of where Duluth was (north), and no idea where the marathon was actually run, but I followed the highway signs 154 miles, got off on an exit that "felt right," and parked in a church parking lot. The first person I passed was kind enough to explain that the path of the race turned for the finish line about two blocks away. "Right where you belong," Kenny echoed in my head.
Everyone I passed smiled broadly and went out of their way to be kind and helpful that day. It might have been because I was the only woman in the crowd dressed for a tea party: a beautiful steel blue linen dress with buttons the color of old pennies, ankle socks and shoes to match the buttons of the dress. Oh, and a flower on my lapel. And a copper-colored straw hat. Even so, I think it was because they could see or sense that I felt at home in my own skin, sure of what I was doing. Free. Holding the tail of a cosmic kite.
I didn't recognize my love crossing the finish line--not consciously, anyway. But I did cheer and hoot and holler for strangers accomplishing this tremendous thing. And I made friends with a family sitting next to me on the street. Together, we wandered the street fair down by the harbor and ate snow cones. It was one of the most wonderful days of my life.
The scenery of Tuscany in "Letters to Juliet," evokes sense memories, a phantom hum throughout my body. Not Tom or Lindsay or Kenny, but a new song waiting to be heard, a new adventure waiting to be lived.
My jar is open. Time to fly. I can't swing Tuscany right now, but next weekend, I'm going to Duluth.