There are some specific things about my early morning that I enjoy. Normally I am up early and it gives me some small pleasure to make my bed, to make the room orderly and then to peek into my wife’s room where she sleeps almost upright on her special bed.
I go to the gym three mornings a week without fail and have done so for decades. The only exception is if I am ill or hurt. In the last few years, if I have some strenuous other activities scheduled, I skip formal exercise.
On those days, when the weather is lovely and clear, as it is today, I spend the morning reading or writing or editing pictures – and it seems somehow that my mind is clear and unencumbered by the strings of anxieties that normally tie me into knots.
This morning, I was sitting, drinking tea and reading a novel by Donna Leon. (she is an American who has lived in Italy and Switzerland and writes mystery novels often set in Venice.) Her novels have a wonderful sense of place and the characters have fully realized personalities. I keep every one of her books that I come across and reread them, not for the mystery but for the description.
It was in the middle of one page, where she talked so clearly about one place in Venice that the thought came to me.
When I am eventually alone, I will go back to Italy, the last place we had a good vacation together, and see it again. On that trip, so much of my attention was focused on my wife seeing what she had always wanted to see, that I did not see it as much as I would have liked.
By going back again, I will reinforce those memories of us together and they will be that much richer and fuller for it.
She loved Rome and I loved Florence and we both loved Venice. Now that the passage of just a few years has blurred the difficulties of the trip, in memory it was the perfect month, ending with five special days in Venice.
A perfect hotel on a tiny canal within a 5-minute walk of the San Zaccaria vaporetto station and near St. Mark’s square.
I wonder why the anticipation of a memorial trip like this fills me with quiet happiness?
Impossible to know.