Last Friday, Diana of Creative Structures challenged her fellow bloggers to write about gratitude. This, I thought, is an excellent idea. I focus far too much on things that aren't going well in my life; in fact, I tend to obsess about small slights, or problems, or misunderstandings -- even small annoyances like rainy weather -- to the exclusion of all the good things in my life. This is actually becoming a serious problem, because I'm forming a deeply entrenched habit of negativity.
So, I'm going to focus now on just a few of the many, many things in my life for which I am grateful.
1. I'm so grateful that last month, I was finally able to visit Ravenna, in north-eastern Italy, and see amazingly beautiful mosaics that date back to the 6th century. Mind-boggling. The photo above is from the ceiling at the Basilica of San Vitale. I was truly gobsmacked by the incredible mosaics, exploding with colour even after 1,500 years.
2. I'm very grateful that my ceramic dishes arrived from Italy yesterday in perfect condition. They are stunning, and as soon as I can find my camera, I'm posting brag photos!
3. Coffee and wine. I'm so grateful these exist and are fairly free flowing.
4. I'm really grateful that I made it to the top after climbing 4 kilometers straight up, passing through the 666 porticos leading up, up, up to Bologna's Sanctuary of the Madonna of San Luca!
5. It was a wonderful experience to visit Ferrara and its medieval Duomo.
6. I'm so grateful for my family -- including my Mom (on the left) and my two aunties. What a trio.
7. Italian food and Italian cooking classes with a great teacher and friend like Letizia, from Alla Madonna del Piatto near Assisi -- what could be better?
8. In fact, friendship is something that I am especially grateful for, and for friends like Mary of Genius Loci near Bevagna (top of the table) who hosted a fantastic Umbria dinner one night last month, with her son Michael (manager of the Genius Loci) and daughter Marica (closest to the camera) and Mar's great friends Art and Joanne.
Such a short list when I have so much to be grateful for!