Musings on Rather Clichéd Things

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Alright, so I'm late putting this blog post up again. I left Florence this weekend, and in impressive display of forgetfulness I forgot to bring some rather crucial computer attachment cords. Such is life. I'm just happy I remembered the money and the passport.

The past couple of days I've been in Lido di Camaiore, a small town on the sea. I was there to steal a bit of the last days of Italian summer sun. As one would expect of a large peninsula, Italy has probably hundreds of little towns with wide stretches of beaches, and as I was traveling alone I could choose whichever I wanted. I chose Lido di Camaiore for a specific reason: the medieval town nearby, called Camaiore, is where my great grandmother was born. It is where she grew up and lived until she packed up her family, and sailed to America. It is where her family lived, and in Italy people don't move around a lot. Which means I probably have family in Camaiore. Distant relations, but still.

I plan to go on a proper trip to Camaiore itself sometime, probably next semester when my Italian will be (hopefully) a bit better. I'm going to try to find my distant relations in Camaiore; however, I'm not sure how successful I'll be armed only with my great-grandmother's maiden name and naturalization records. But that's for another trip.

For this trip, I just wanted to lie on a beach close to my family's history. Which brings me to this:

This picture really does not do it any kind of justice. One of these days I am going to take a photography class so I can document my whole life with beautiful pictures.

The big blue sky and the sand and beside-the-water-townness of it all reminded me of home. As I was walking up and down the beach and promenade I was hit with a sudden bout of homesickness. I don't know what triggered it. Maybe the similarities made the differences stand out more. Maybe being surrounded by families made me miss mine. I'm not sure.

 But in the midst of my homesick stroll I came upon pier. (Not the kind of pier I was used to. Piers on the Texas Gulf Coast are generally wooden, a bit rickety, decidedly weathered, and there always seems at least a slight chance that the plank beneath your feet will finally get sick of holding you up and decide instead to plunge you into the ocean. This pier was built with concrete, unmovable.) When walking down it, I found a compass in laid into the concrete.

I faced West.

I think it's hard to remember this sometimes. When I'm far away (as I often am), and miss home (as I often do), I start to forget that home is not that far away. That this really is one planet and if I just keep heading West I'll get there. And I'll be there soon.

But for now: There's a part of me, however small, which is built of the people who call this place home. So, maybe there's a part of me, a very little part perhaps, which could feel at home here too.

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  1. Aww, so nicely written and meaningful (btw, loved the description of Texas piers--spot on). Gah, can't wait to join ya there.


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