| LOCATION: On a cliff terrace facing the night storm over the Mediterranean, Vernazza, Italy |
I sat out on the quay today writing in the sun, for hours. I knew the storm was coming. The town was only half open–half alive, as though it knew to prepare for something the rest of us were foreigners to. My stomach was in knots–would I be able to show up?
I’d made 3 different backup plans for wifi for my session tonight. The clouds were alternately ominous and majestic as they ran breathless over the top of our little village. As the sun fell, the storms threw the sunset into sharp beauty. And still we all waited, the sky growing dark.
Shops were closing early. I bought wifi time at the only wifi cafe for my mastermind group tonight. And as the cafe closed up, I sat down on the cobbled street outside the door, under an awning, and logged in. The rain started, thunder and wind, as our group came online.
“Where are you?” I panned the webcam down the lonely dark street with lamps lit. “Is that Italy?!” Yes. A small village with NO cars–I can touch the houses on both sides of the streets when I stretch out my arms.
We had an incredible session as the rain pelted sideways and I had to wipe it from my screen. The faithful church bells called the hour, the half hour and the new hour. Looking at me strangely, people scrambled last minute to dry, lit homes behind shuttered windows. My focus was on the seven people on my screen.
I was numb from cold and sitting on cobblestone for nearly 2 hours when I (very) slowly stood up, packed up, and went in search of a last open cafe for a hot drink.
The storm had taken a small intermission.
After being severely warned of power outages, I was thankful to find I had electricity when I arrived at my terraced room on the cliff over the ocean.
I stand alone now in the dark doorway wrapped in a blanket and watching the Mediterranean rage below me as the rain whips across me unrepentently.
And I leave on the early train tomorrow for Florence to prepare myself there for clients, then meeting up with friends I will stay with that I made on my trip 2 years ago.
Immediately, Wednesday morning, I fly to Madrid. The Prado awaits–a dream of many years.
A young woman with her friend on the quay this afternoon, traveling as students, said, “Traveling is really hard. You think you’re going to have this phenomenal time–and you do–but it takes so much to do it. More than you expect or think.” I smiled sympathetically as she said it.
I could relate.
Exquisite moments. Amidst lots of angst and effort and anxiety about where I will sleep tomorrow night… It’s the struggle that makes the journey powerful. It’s the effort to show up and experience everything we can, that opens wide the inner transformation.
Vacation is a reprieve from the daily routine. Traveling literally moves us from where we are to somewhere new–from the person we were to the person we become.
We meet the unexpected. We put ourselves over and over right into the center of the unknown and ask boldly or timidly for what comes next… But we ask.
I love to weave the magical spell with pictures and words of all I am experiencing. And it is all that! And so much more… But the webs that bring the magic together, often quickly dismissed or overlooked, are the struggle and the questioning–the anxiety and stress inherent in not staying in one place longer than a few days, not knowing where we will sleep tomorrow. Trusting life with the next step.
Something incredible will be there.