I’m currently savoring my reflections on the sweetest retreat group, gorgeous weather, magical food, joy filled trip to Montepulciano, and all things loving kindness. Counting my lucky stars that I get to spend time with people in joyful settings and the spirit of loving kindness.
If you turn left and drive toward Trequanda, you’re on your way to Fattoria del Colle where I’ve just finished leading my 10th retreat. 10 might be my lucky number because this retreat felt like coming home to my deepest wisdom about being a teacher of loving kindness under the Tuscan sky. There was so much ease and insight.
It was easy to offer it to others when I could offer it to myself first.
Post retreat I stayed on a few days because I was invited by Donatella Cinelli Columbini the founder of Fattoria Del Colle to attend her annual awards gala dinner and ceremony. Over the years I’ve developed a friendship with Donatella and all of the staff at Fattoria and now it feels like coming home whenever I’m there.
The Casato Prime Donne award was established in 1999 as a development of the Barbi Colombini Prize. It takes place every year in Montalcino and rewards the best journalistic and photographic contribution concerning the Brunello territory and wine. Among the winners are the most important journalists and photographers published in the main national and international papers.
An elegant affair where Donatella opened up her home and each room had various food tastings, wine tastings and dignitaries within her circle of life. At the dinner I was seated next to Anselma Dell’ Olio who is a film critic, film maker, and author. She is currently making a film about Fellini called Fellini & His Spirits. Apparently Fellini was deep into all things of the occult, mysticism, tarot and astrology. You can imagine our convo! She was fascinating and we quickly hit it off. She clued me in to the mythology of the Italians, what’s really going on there politically and how to get la dolce vita right. She has since that night invited me to stay at her sea home in Maremma next spring.
None of this would have happened if I hadn’t been able to get outside of my comfort zone and find new ways to savor life. I am a creature of comfort and traveling and being in other countries isn’t always easy. But I persist. Because I know that I’m growing, stretching and becoming more of who I am. I see Italy as an invitation to go deeper into life.
What I really noticed this time was how Italy sets a tone for us to genuinely savor life. To sit down in life and let it be.
Pondering 10 retreats in Italy and the concept of time. It always grabs me and shakes me when looked back upon, especially as I approach another birthday. I’m struck by how mundane some of my own yearnings can be when I’m in a higher place and can view them with tenderness. By that I mean realizing the preciousness of life and the moments of it. Savoring.
I want to forever savor my days and be here now.
In Italy I notice the way the Italians care about people, food and life, the salamanders running along the ancient walls, the flowing olive tree branches, the low cotton candy clouds, the endless sunny vineyards, the wisteria blooming in spring, the val D’Orcia and it’s stunning hues in the fall.
I’ve been going through all of my journals, notes and lessons for all 10 Italy retreats and realize there are so many yummy stories in them. I just know there’s another book calling my name…
For now I’ll savor right where I’m at.
Cats napping, fall grasses blowing in the wind out on our property, the leaves changing, the squash being picked. The hummingbirds have left after a summer of feasting.
Turn, turn, turn.
I’m thinking of you and what you’re savoring.