I'm up early, sitting in front of the relatively deserted Trevi Fountain as pigeons wander around peking between the smooth black cobblestones in search of breakfast. The sound of the few tourists here and the carabinieri drowned out by the crashing water in front of me. I think this may be my favorite spot in Rome. It's a lovely place to begin another year.
I've waited until today to toss my coin into the pool of water here, the coin that will ensure my return. I've thought about what to wish for. For my book to be a success. Luck in love. A family. A long life. Thinking about what I desire reminds me of how grateful I am for what I have. Wonderful friends and family. A good job. My own home. Enough money to spend a month in Italy. There isn't much I need, and so as I pull the coin from the pocket of my jeans, swing my arm forward and open my hand as the coin arcs through the air and disappears into the water without a sound, what I wish for is much more basic. More simple.
I wish for happiness.
Today we pack up to embark on the part of the trip that I have most been looking forward to -- Tuscany. I want to drive aimlessly through the Italian countryside with no particular destination in mind. To hike the Cinque Terre. To drink wine and watch the sunset. To have real conversations.
We start today with more flurry of activity, making a run to the shipping office, gathering our bags for the train ride to Chiusi. Picking up the car. But then it will be more relaxed. Two nights in Montepulciano, three in Chiante de Greve, and three in Levanto along the Italian Riviera. An apartment. A stone house. A bed and breakfast. Our days will slow. I'll sleep late... siesta properly, as the Italians do, and stroll in the evenings. No rushing from here to there. Nowhere we have to be at any certain time.
I suppose in a way, my wish will have already come true. I can think of nothing that would bring me more happiness than embracing the Italian art of how sweet it is to do nothing... “il dolce far niete."
Wish me luck.