May 23, 2017
Living by the sea can be so inspirational. Add some spice to the seaside experience by inviting a friend to visit and laughter and memories sweeten the pot.
Over the last few days, my friend Marjie, an accomplished writer from Nashville, has been discovering the beauty and elegance of the Ligurian Coast with me as her guide. Marjie and I met when our daughters attended Montessori school together and we became fast friends. Our daughters do not remember each other. Yet we have shared life changes for decades.
I had attempted to visit her in Nashville before leaving the States. Time and scheduling got in the way. She is my first visitor to my new home in Liguria. The two of us have never spent an entire week together as we are doing now. I think we spent the first day in my apartment simply sharing and catching up.
We have let parallel lives. Over the years, we have compared notes on child-rearing, divorce, music, creativity, travel, you name it, we shared it. Now we are filling in the blanks from times too hectic to share and where our lifestyles have diverged. And we are doing it all by the sea.
Yesterday we saw the creation and dissipation of a waterspout.
Tonight, as we walked along la passagiata, we stopped for gelato with fresh fruit. We asked for a small. This is not small.
Everyone was on the promenade today. The sea calls us all to her side. Both Marjie and I are fascinated by the azure waves.
Boats crisscross the waters,
While admirers of the sea collect stones shaped by her caresses.
And as the sun begins to set, we two friends talk about those we have lost, those who have moved on to the next life. The salt air opens the door to tranquility and vulnerability. We can support one another as we remember our years with our mothers. We laugh about the funny things we have learned from them. Marjie’s mother sounds like the mom we have all dreamed of having. She could have been on a 1950s television series. My mother, on the other hand, was an unforgettable Italian extrovert whose laugh could be heard around the neighborhood. And all the neighborhood children wanted to come to our house to eat spaghetti with us.
It felt like our mothers were there with us, listening to our stories. I looked up and saw the sun as it began its journey to the underworld. I think our moms added these spectacular colors.
They were in the clouds above the waters, as a hawk protecting her daughter, Marjie.
Or an eagle scaring off any prey and catching food for her daughter, Marilyn.
The sea and sky danced insieme, together, as the light show continued. As we watched it all, Marjie shared another story about her father. She had once asked him what his favorite color was. He told her it was, ”sky blue pink.” He wanted to have a Cadillac painted “sky blue pink” just like the colors of the sunset. Sky blue pink! What a glorious color.
I think her father was also there, enjoying the sunset with us. I think this might be Sky Blue Pink.
And it is reflected in the water, the ever-changing water, so very much like life itself.
Thank you to my friend Marjie for sharing your laughter, your stories, and Sky Blue Pink with me. It will be here with me in Chiavari, Liguria always. It will be in the sky and the sea and in that place in my heart, right next to you.
Ciao for now!
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Ciao for Now!
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