Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Healing my "Heart" in Cinque Terra, Italy! Part 12

To my Sweetheart Alain...

This morning we are in Cinque Terre, in Italy. It is a remote chunk of the Italian Rivera. It is divided into five villages. We are in Riomaggiore. History tells of marauding pirates who were a persistent problem for the people here until the 1400's. Many locals were kidnapped and sold as slaves. As the threat of pirates faded, the villages prospered catching fish and growing grapes.

This morning we walked on the "Pathway of Love"

Via Dell Amore.

We've been excited about this part of our trip because of the history and traditions.
Carol bought three padlocks... one for she and Shawno, one for Michelle and Judson,
and one for me (and you).
If you lived in one of the five hillside communities of Cinque Terra,
you usually married someone from your community.
Around 1920, a railway and pathway connected some of these towns.
Young people would meet on the path and the tradition started of it being
a pathway of love.
Later people came and brought padlocks with their names written or etched on them
and they were locked onto the railings, etc. along the path symbolizing the
"locking of their love."
I was amazed at the hundreds and hundreds we saw as we walked the path.

The weather was "drizzly" and as we were walking along, Michelle said, "Oh mom look... there is a heart leaf on the ground." Sure enough there it was, red and wet and shaped like a heart. I picked it up (after taking a picture of course), and decided to put our padlock at that very spot.

This is the view looking back at the area where I put the padlock. Gorgeous isn't it?

Then.... as we were continuing on down the pathway, I looked up to the hillside and couldn't believe my eyes... there was a plant that was covered with leaves shaped liked hearts! Here are the pictures for proof!

In the center of the pathway,
we came upon a railing that was literally covered with padlocks!

There was also a lot of "love graffiti" all along the way! Most of it was in Italian of course!

This had to be one of the most unique parts of our trip.
Oh how I miss you. A huge part of me is missing.
I do know where you are and I will always be
eternally grateful
that we were "best friends"....
learning and growing each day we had together.
Your selfless love, service and kindness
will forever be a part of me!
I'll love you forever!


End of My Trip.... Healing my "Heart" Part 13

Dear Alain,

As we are driving along the freeways of France, back to Italy today, (and so
far away from my home...our home),
I've run across a talk by Neal A. Maxwell.
He speaks of being content in whatever is allotted to us in this life.
Wow... I suppose then, that my gift to you, and to myself,
is to accept what has happened and learn to be content.
He said, "Being content means acceptance without self-pity!
A friend of mine recently said she thinks there is a fine, fine line between
grieving and self-pity.
I don't know.... I'm still so new at this.
I think the key for me, will be to "count my blessings," (which are many!)

"Blessing brighten when you count them!"
(Love that!)

Elder Maxwell states, "Our response to what is allotted us is what matters."
I've tried to respond to losing you by having faith and trust...
He continues,
"there is so much to do within what has been allotted us.
Performance is what matters,

not the size of the stage."

My sphere of influence is somewhat small honey, but I will
continue to learn from your example,
living the gospel by being kind and helpful to all those I come in contact with.

One final thought I ran across said,
"when spiritually aligned, a poise can come, even when
we do not know the meaning of all things."

Love Donna

La Magnolia Bread & Breakfast
Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre is a remote chunk of the Italian Rivera.

It was exciting to be home and felt very welcomed by Jamie & kids!

Our last lunch together before we head back to Naples.

What a wonderful trip of a lifetime.
When I look back it is almost magical!
My grateful thanks
go to Shawno and Carol who treated me with such tender care and gave me space
to ~heal my heart!~