The Italians have a saying, "dolce far niente," which translates to,
"the sweetness of doing nothing."
Doing nothing has become a task on our to-do list in the US.
When we do have idle time, we seem to look at our phones.
I saw something on Facebook, a photograph of a sign that said:
"Who is going somewhere exciting this weekend to look at their phone?"
I am guilty of a version of this, for sure.
In many other cultures being is valued more than doing. Families cook together,
dine together, sit at their tables into the evening and talk together. Siting on a park bench or in a cafe is the norm, rather than a luxury.
As deep summer rolls in, it's a good time to unplug for a bit. Go outside and listen, look, and just be. "Dolce far niente."
Here is where I sat and drank my coffee every morning in the summer when my children were little. Off the beaten path,
no internet, no cell service, and it felt like time melted away. We played cards for hours, stayed in our pajamas all day if we felt like it, and ate raspberries off of the bushes every morning. Years have passed since we spent expanses of time at the cottage, and this fall my youngest daughter is going off to college, not surprisingly, close to this place that we all love and hold so dear to us.
She no longer draws pictures of turtles with crayons, but continues feel the imprint of the lazy long days, the starry nights catching fireflies, staying up too late with the grown-ups, and most of all - her connection to place and family, and growing up here.
On our college tour this past winter we drove to the cottage on a very cold and snowy day in January. There are changes.
New shutters, a new front door - we commented, and looked at each other. These knowing looks, intimate and full of memories,
speak to the fullness and depth of our experiences here, and how we changed just by being together; then, and now.
Over the past few days I have been working on planting a salad garden. My dear friend Mattuck built the raised bed for me,
and I'm really grateful for his help. I've never grown vegetables before! I'm very excited. Although I'm an avid perennial
gardener-and I am passionate about digging in the dirt; this is all new to me. One thing I am certain about, when I garden I
bump up against my perfectionistic tendencies. It's a wonderful practice to deal with weeds, things that eat the plants,
too much/not enough whatever...I'm hoping for some yummy heirloom tomatoes. I'll keep you posted on that.
21403 Chagrin Boulevard
Beachwood, OH 44122