At the moment I am sitting on the balcony of a hotel in a beautiful small town in northern Italy. The sunlight warms my face and a small boy is playing with what little snow has not yet melted.
It is amazing to me that nearly three weeks have passed and it is almost time for me to move on from this place. Some days it feels I have been here forever, but mostly it feels like I just arrived.
Since I got here, time has passed strangely for me. It feels as if moment after moment washes over me until one catches me up and pulls me into the emotion of it for a while, and then it recedes and more moments take its place.
There has been such juxtaposition between my moments here, that much of this trip seems surreal and I still am not entirely sure that I believe I am here. Sometimes I find myself surrounded by children running around the house (laughing, wrestling or sometimes crying) and minutes later they will all be asleep next to me.
I have gone from being incredibly grateful to be here, and awestruck at how beautiful it is here to being more homesick than I’ve ever been in just seconds.
And I have gone from making jokes with a friend to finding out that a friend of ours, a girl from our writing retreat family had died suddenly in a car crash.
I was reading an email about the death of this smart, inspiring girl who was a daily part of my life for a month when a baby girl came up to me crying because the hat had fallen off of her doll. This and similar moments have reminded me on a daily basis that change is constant and even moments that seem to last forever will end. It is not okay that she died, and it never will be. But it is okay that it’s not okay. It’s okay because the world keeps going, and keeps changing and that is beautiful.
Most of the time I am here I have spent playing with children, but from time to time I get out to have adventures and see the rest of the town. And of course, playing with the children is an adventure of its own sort. They are silly and sweet, and sometimes it is hard when we cannot understand each other, but we can usually figure it out.
Moments are peculiar things. Our lives are made of more moments than we can comprehend, and we forget most of them. And there are so many moments that we think we have forgotten only to find we remember them when we least expect it. I know I have already forgotten many moments I have had here, but there are some I will always remember, too.
The sun is setting, and it is getting chilly. Hopefully in the days to come I will find more time to sit down and write and post some pictures, but for now this rambling prose is what seems natural.
All of the moments that have happened here are okay, even the ones a part of me wishes I could change. It is okay that I have been happy, and sad, and bored and excited. It is okay that I am happy to be here, and okay that I am happy to leave. I am so excited for the next part of my adventures, but they can wait. I am here. Now, and until all these moments have passed.