No matter how short my trips to Italy have become I always try to make time to go see my family. When I was much younger, I used to spend weeks on end there during the summer. My love of Italy is deeply rooted in those moments and in those memories. I often wish I could go back to those simpler times where I felt completely content.
On this trip back, I caught a glimpse of that simplicity once again. I am immensely fortunate to be able to return to the land that my grandparents poured their lives into. My uncle still takes care of this most beautiful and serene place lined with far reaching olive trees. I have been here a few times when I was much younger but, as sometimes happens, time fades memories and dulls details. For some reason on this particular trip I felt like I needed to return there to revive what I had seen as a child.
After driving for a while down a wooded, barely there road around the base of an unassuming mountain, we came to a clearing. The day was warm and damp and we at once were surrounded by a vast sea of green. To the left an open piece of land met by a scattering of tangled bushes and weeds, and to the right a canopy of neatly arched olive branches. Breathtaking stillness. I seemed to be miles and miles from my home, from Rome, from myself. I tried, as I do with every beautiful thing I come across, to desperately commit every detail, every feeling, every thought to memory. I never want to forget it. I try to live in that moment knowing there never will be another like it. I know that next time I visit this place I will not be the same person as I am now. I will leave a little part of the me that I am now there, just as I left a little part of the child that I was there. But, while I continue to change, while my life and circumstances change, this olive grove will remain. And returning there will always have the same effect. It will strip away the superficiality of life and remind me of the beauty in simplicity.