• Alexis Albright Meschi

Italy: Here and Now

Updated: May 18

3 years ago we finally did it.


We planned the Italy trip of our dreams. We were taking our 3 teenage daughters and starting in Rome. From there, we were traveling to Lucca, where my husband's family from, San Gimignano, Seina, Venice, Modena and Florence. I spent the year learning Italian, a dream I've always had. I only listened to Italian music to get better at dialect and phrases.


Beyond the dream of visiting, I had a soul-pull to go there. It tugged on me and I had this sense that something was waiting for me there.


Not a thing, not a person- just something intangible and inexpressible that only a person that understands and believes in intuition would get.


COVID came and I'll spare you the predictable, and all to relatable for many, details of how the trip was cancelled and the disappointment that bought. And how it happened the next year. And the following year.


And here we are, in a world that is more opened up and accessible and Italy is waiting for me again.


Yet now, I have a daughter headed off to college in a destination that requires us to travel more than we had budgeted for. So for the near future, our travel expenses and energy will be to the Midwest of the States, not the Mediterranean.


And for all the moms out there, you'd do anything for your children above all else. So my Italy dreams, the soul-draw I felt, and still feel, is temporarily shelved once again.


And while so many things are out of my control, and at my age I have a much greater acceptance for that, I'll be damned if I let life escape me. I want to live my best life now.


The idea of waiting to visit Italy to fulfill this desire in me isn't something I can do. Instead, I've decided to bring Italy to me.


Since I have no idea what that soul-pull is, all I can do is open up and explore and live Italy here and now

.

I have one precious life and I mean to live it. And I want to live it fully and intentionally and not in waiting.


So here's my unplanned plan to get started.


I want to learn more about Italian life. So naturally, I got some books from the library on Italian living and lifestyle. While our family is Italian and we do things like big family dinners and everything revolves around food, I want to understand nuance and philosophies and be more intentional in daily practices.


I want to know about scents and other sensory experiences, the value of daily practices, best movies and music, anything and everything that I can grasp about their culture- here.


And let me clarify- I want to practice the Italian way here. I want to savor our seasons, not rush family dinners, slow down in my day and infuse the philosophies into my own life.





I ordered a book on Italian cockatails, wine and digestives. I need to know the drink, the practices the methods to add to our daily food experiences.


I want to learn to appreciate the Negroni, understand regional wines as opposed to varietals, seek the flavor nuances of all the Amaros and how a bitter beverage after dinner settles you into the night.







And the food.


If you follow me you know that food is how I love. it's how I connect with my Italian culture and my Italian grandmother. Her memory (and judgement) is with me in each pasta I make on her mother's pasta roller, in each cookie I roll from the recipe books he made me.


But I want to seek out heritage and old ways that I've yet to explore. I want to learn regions and the people of Italy through their food.


I want to learn new techniques and push myself to grow out of my comfort spaces and into new spaces of the Italian kitchen.





Italy will always be waiting for me. And someday, I will meet her and my soul's desire will be fulfilled.


But, until then, I choose to live this life fully and to nourish my soul-draw in this way.


In Eat Pray Love as Liz Gilbert is learning Italian with Giovanni, he teaches her a phrase that she laster chooses as the word that describes her.


Attraversiamo- let's cross over.


Whether it's Italy you're drawn to or another culture, or maybe you're just tired of waiting for life to happen and are ready to choose the here and now I hope you join me in crossing over together and live our fullest life, our soul-draw desires now.