A Most Beautiful Day ...

I don't know if I have the words to capture half of the beauty that happened todayon our Beautiful Truth Retreat.

I am learning that something extraordinary happens whenever women come together in a small group to talk and learn.  Something so powerfully beautiful that it feels a privilege just to be a part of it.

Yesterday some of us met for the first time.  Today, dare I claim it ... we're friends.  It has been an intense day.  It's only 9.42pm as I write this but I could easily sleep now. 

This morning we gathered for breakfast ... a divine breakfast of fresh fruits, Italian coffee, tea, muesli, and pastries. Freshly-squeezed orange juice too.

Then there was a photography workshop with me ... out by the pool.  It was made up of more than a little laughter and many photographs were taken out there in the blue-sky summer's day that was today.

But then a most extraordinary thing ... we jumped in the car and headed off to Carla's restaurant.  We spent the next few hours learning how to make pasta and bruschetta the old-fashioned way ... no machines.  Carla made us all smile as she opened a bottle of some divine Piedmont white wine and we began with a toast. 

Of course, as the hours unfolded, there was more laughter and so many courses of beautiful food that we almost had to be rolled away from the table.

There was bruschetta, a pesto cream sauce for our handmade pasta. There was this turkey, pot-roasted, in sauce made from its juices, some cream, dried mushrooms and other secret ingredients.  Some of us could have attempted that as the soup course.  The gravy was divine.

And we ended with a bowl of plain gelato ... no flavour, not even vanilla just gelato and I had never tasted anything so good.  And understand, I could have stopped with the bruschetta, I definitely could have stopped after the pasta.  But I ate it all, well most of it, like everyone else.

And like everyone else, I left having absolutely fallen for Carla.  She hugged and kissed us all when we left and, I think I speak for everyone, when I write that we left feeling like the sun had been shining on us ... just us, for those hours spent in her company learning those everyday things that meant so very much to us.

Dinner tonight and we gathered in the kitchen, a selection of beautiful Italian meats and vegetables there in front of us, some red wine ... all of talking, and laughing.  I needed this laughter.  Life so serious so often and to gather with these women who simply astound me ... it is good.

Perhaps the photograph that follows captures a little of fun of it all.  Then again, I said quite a lot ... didn't I, writes this bemused woman, hoping she will be forgiven for raving, again.

There is more, there was the visit the ancient home of an artist, his lovely architect wife, and his film-making son.  But I don't dare try to add that on here.  That story is a whole other post.

The photograph below ... Diana and Carla, serving up the pasta we made. 


One Of Those Quietly Joy-filled Days ... in Italy

 You know when you step into so much beauty that you almost cry ... ?

It was like that today, as I arrived at my new 'location' for these next few days.

Diana and I are preparing our  Beautiful Truth Retreat for a small  group of women who are flying in from all over the world.

And while we made plans together over months, the reality of where I am to spend the next few days is truly overwhelming today.

I remember my first visit to Diana and Micha's place.  During the tour I noticed a small table next to a green-shuttered window, with a view out over a lush Italian hillside, and I imagined how it would be to inhabit that space for a while ...

Today I am writing this from that exquisite location.  And it is as good as I imagined. 

There is work to be done in the days leading up to Sunday but for today, I am luxuriating in the quiet joy that has filled me to overflowing.

A glimpse ... just a really small taste of what I am talking about. 

Only a glimpse because I am running on a few hours of sleep, after a 3am start for the 4am airport bus and my 6.30am flight to Mlian.  Despite that, it has been a day filled with quiet joy.

I woke while my plane was crossing the Italian Alps.  Laid out below me and not too far away, it seemed, was ridge after shadowy-sunrise ridge, rising up out of the delicate early morning mist. 

It's been like that today  ...

Baur B&B, Italy

And so you arrive ...at Diana and Micha's house.

They offer the most beautiful surroundings at their B&B in Italy. 

I went wandering in the early morning light on Tuesday.  The light, the buildings, the colours, the countryside ... I risked Stendhal Syndrome.

Note: this is where we will be hosting the photography and storytelling workshop in Italy.  There is one place left. 

What say you?

Your Beautiful Truth Retreat, Italy

Planning and developing has kept me quiet here, as well as playing tag with exhaustion and flu the rest of the time.

And so to announce, with much pleasure, the first Your Beautiful Truth Retreat, in partnership with the extremely talented and inspirational Diana Baur.

Come take a peek  ...