It is the first of December today and the countdown to Christmas can officially begin. Irrespective of how much the shops try to convince me otherwise, it is impossible to think seriously about Christmas before I’ve flipped to the last page of the calendar.
Today is also a first as I woke up this morning as an unemployed person. I don’t know about you but the word ‘unemployed’ conjures up all sorts of images that I’d rather not contemplate but the reality is that I have no office to go to on Monday, no meetings scheduled and no deadlines to meet. But sometimes even change that you weren’t anticipating just feels right and that’s how this one feels.
Lucca was the best buffer between the old and new that I could imagine. When you stand at a metaphorical crossroad what you need is an environment that is safe and nurturing and Lucca was that place for me. The people of Lucca didn’t know it but the daily rhythm of their lives was my anchor and instead of feeling uncertain and lost I felt safe and protected, challenged and excited. It was a perfect place to plan and to dream and to remember to be grateful. I may not have a job but I have something much more important. I have peace and as long as I have that I know that all will be well.
This morning I walked to the beach near my house with my camera to catch the sun rising on the first day of the last month of the year. As the water glistened and a dog chased seagulls, a woman out walking with her friend stopped. “We live in paradise” she said, and as I walked back home I realised that whether it’s beautiful Lucca, a beach in Auckland, or anywhere else for that matter, she was right.