We spent the afternoon rehearsing in the hot sun. We had hoped there would be time for a quick swim before the guests arrived but we ran long. I desperately wanted to cool off and headed for the pool but turned around instantly as soon as I saw the people gathering– no public appearances in a bathing suit for me! I settled for a quick shower.
Just about every place in the house was being used and it was hard to find a corner to change and primp before the play. I managed to get ready then went to join the others.
The spread of food was fabulous– fresh focaccia and assorted aperitivi along with Chris’s excellent baba ghanouj and hummus. I made a plate, got a glass of wine and found a chair near Michael and some friends. Finally a chance to relax before the performance started.
As I was balancing my plate on my knees and trying to avoid spilling on my fancy dress I stopped for a moment and looked up. I saw the incredible view of the valley at nearly sunset, the buzz of guests milling about with their drinks and hors d’oeurves, happily anticipating the evening’s entertainment.
I stopped for a moment and let the wonder of it all wash over me. This was my life. My friends and I were putting on a play on a hillside in Le Marche, Italy. — a reading of excerpts from Chekhov’s The Seagull, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream— the actors and the scripts both English and Italian. We were doing it for the fun of it. We gather often because we enjoy getting together and reading plays or discussing books or playing music– always with good food and wine.
This is my life. I marvel at this creation. We got here not with exceptional riches or superior opportunities but with simple choices to go after what we wanted; to align with like-minded people; to choose experience over things; to stop and notice how wonderful simple moments are.
Like any life, it’s not always sunshine and prosecco. But I think I’ve figured out what’s important to me and how to achieve it.
Italy does not have a monopoly on gorgeous hillsides and gatherings of friends. I hope you are stopping and appreciating your marvelous lives.