I've been away. Away from the clarity to write. We have finally finished the loopy, dark alley, hairpin turn road to our mortgage approval. Our future house is nearly finished, and there were several times in the last six weeks that we dared not go and check out its progress for fear of jinxing things. I often found myself wondering why I cared so deeply, why I was willing to go through so much and take on so much debt. I don't love material things in an exaggerated way. I am not ambitious when it comes to money. I don't care about cars and labels. Our only wish over the years has been to have a bit more money to travel, but then as I look back I realize that we have always traveled anyway. And far.
But this house has been something else all together for me. Even though I know the house we own in Italy is as much mine as it is my husband's, it's still in Italy. As the years passed I just couldn't imagine myself in Italy as old old lady. And when I ask myself why we are breaking our backs to live here, where real estate is still akin to gold, I know why.
Everyone here is just really, really happy. People here smile. People here don't litter. People here put their supermarket carts away when they are finished unloading. People here love animals and crazy weather. People here stop and let you cross the street with a wave. No one is wearing high heels. This town celebrates Ullr, the Norse god of snow. The air always smells sweet and the scenery is an ever changing pallet of colors and majesty. Really. The wildlife is thriving and the elements are harsh. No wimps allowed. The high school teachers commented that even the kids here, the teenagers, aren't sullen. They're smiling, too. It is not lost on me that my home is built on top of a former gold mine.
So I find myself walking out my door, walking down the street, driving my car, and just smiling, too. Just because.