Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Writer's Block #2

"Describe your most intimate experience with Mother Nature."

Well, That's fairly easy. There are two places in which I truly felt like I was a part of "Mother Nature." One was when Wes and I went to Italy for our honeymoon. We spent over a week in Rome, Venice, Florence and Vernazza. Vernazza took the cake. It's the most beautiful place on earth. The town is so small and secluded. There are no cars allowed in the town except for one morning each week for deliveries. There's only one street in the town as well. Walking is the only way to get around. The city is built in a valley and there are thousands of staircases that lead up to hundreds of houses and alleyways, so many that you could easily get lost in. There's an old fort on a cliff that provides a magnificent view. Vernazza is part of the Cinque Terre, or Five towns. The train now connects the five towns, but the hiking trails are much more interesting. One day, Wes and I took a hike between two of the towns. It was one of the longer hikes. It was hot and hilly, but it was amazing. We walked through terraced farm fields of grape vines and other fruits. We walked down narrow pathways with a cliff on one side and hills on the other. There were times when you thought you were going in circles. The sun was high and the ocean was crystal clear and still as glass. The occasional sailboat would pass on the horizon. We stopped for a picnic at some tables along the way and noticed that there were several food bowls there with signs asking people to donate change or food so the locals could feed the animals that ran wild there. We watched several old men in their wineries, checking on their vines and plowing or weeding their rows. These men were weathered, with leather skin and wearing torn overalls and straw hats. Once we sat and watched two old men speaking Italian and untying their fishing nets. They kept looking at us and smiling. We watched them, fascinated by their movements and language. One day we sat on the beach for hours and just watched the sun, the water, the locals, some walking the beach for shells or small fish, others were getting ready to go out on their boats. The sunrise and sunset there was so beautiful. Vernazza is a place where you can truly forget that you're on vacation. I felt like I was in another world.


My other favorite "Mother Nature" place is on the river. You can't beat floating down the Chunky and listening to the birds chirping all around you. The last time we went down, Dad & I floated for a while and let the current take us. It was the most relaxing, calming time I've had in a long time! There's nothing better. The scenery changes every time we go down the river. Sometimes we'll see birds, deer, turtles, snakes... Sometimes the water is real low and you can see the bottom, sometimes you'll have to pick your boat up and walk a while. Sometimes the waters high and the current is swifter. Either way, it's amazing. As a matter of fact, we're going down the river on Sunday after church. It'll be the first time we've been since we moved back. I can't wait!!

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