This morning I set out for my daily morning walk. I'm usually out of the apartment by 10. For some reason, that time works. I'm up a lot earlier but take my time getting ready, take a shower, eat breakfast and tidy everything back up again.
I have absolutely no idea of where I had intended to go today. All I was sure of was that I had a bag of trash that I wanted to put into the local refuti container and from there? Who knows.
Before I even got to the refuti area on the street, I stopped in to see my new favorite local artist, Josephine, AKA, the "scarf lady". As we embraced, three women peered into the open doorway of the shop and of course, I could not resist....."come in, see her beautiful work".....which of course, they did. Three lovely ladies on their way somewhere. Three ladies who I soon learned were also artists, one of them an American who now lives not too far from the center of Assisi. We spoke for a few moments about the whole creative experience and I told my little story of why I am here with all of them understanding and supporting me. This time, I did not cry. Instead, I sold a scarf to one of the women.....and, as I started out again on my way to somewhere, I had a new website in my little notebook, www.awakeningarts.com. Dana, the sweet American who told me that she saw in me a creative person, is the founder of The Academy of Art, Creativity and Consciousness here in Umbria. I think my "Creative Studio" teacher, Kristy King would have been very darned proud at that moment.
My morning ruminations took me up a steep (what else?) and narrow (of course) set of steps that twisted to the right and then up and up and up and to the left to a little church I have been eye balling since I arrived in Assisi. I call it the church where the wooden maddonas hang but it is really called Santa Maria Delle Rose. It's situated in the upper reaches of the town, not far from the Piazza San Rufino. I had heard about the beautiful collection of hand carved, free formed wooden maddonas and so wanted to see them. As luck would have it, I was a few weeks too late. The church is closed and is being repaired at the moment. Sooooooo.....I kept on walking.
Until I came to the most beautiful (okay, I know, I keep saying that about all of them) vistas of the mountains and valleys that surround Assisi. A turn to the left and up some more and, to my complete amazement, I was approaching Rocca Maggiore, on foot, alone, without anybody coaxing or daring me......the highest point in the entire town of Assisi. We have done this by car on previous visits and Joe (my husband, the personal trainer) has done it on foot, but never in MY wildest dreams did I ever imagine that I would be making the trip and loving every minute of it. I passed wildflowers, butterflies, even a fence that I soon realized was completely covered with chewn-up pieces of gum, hundreds of them, until I reached the very top. Me, guarding the town from enemies, me and my camera. Brava!
There is a museum in the Rocca Maggiore. I always take a pass but might return when my history loving friend arrives next week. Instead, I opted to walk around the inside of the wall, shooting photos through the centuries-old openings in the walls through which anything and everything to do with medieval defense was carried out. And then, I found what I am sure was the catalyst to my big, tough hike up to the clouds, the resident cat, sitting on the lap of a nice young man who offered that her name was "Camilla"
Ah, "Camilla"........how does one say in Italian that "Camilla is the name of my best friend"?
Camilla è il nome della mia migliore amica. Lei mi dà la fiducia necessaria per fare tutti i miei viaggi più facile