After spending a heavenly three months with family in Australia, one's can't help but pose a question to the universe: 'Is it right that I live so far away from family and country?'
Panic regarding our return to Italy had only set in during the last few days of our holiday. We started to doubt our ability to 'brave' the unknowns in a country where we had no support structure. We started to believe that we would never learn Italian. We started to believe that all of our improvements that we'd done to date had collapsed or failed and that all of our services and utilities had been cut off!
We panicked even more after our long flight to Italy...
We'd hired a small car at the Milan airport in order to get our embarrassingly heavy suitcases home without slipping any vertabrae (the lure of second hand book shops in Australia had been too much of a temptation and we were laden with literature).
About ten kilometres from Canelli, we found snow laying on the hills!
Now, while I am normally gleeful about snow, it did pose a particular concern yesterday. The 2 kilometre drive into our small valley is dotted with sections that never see the sun so it was reasonable for us to assume that the snow may have made it impassable.
Fortunately, 'someone' was looking after us. While there were a few patches of snow on the road, the thickest snow was to be found in our lower paddocks only.
So after three months in hot humid weather, where I frequently found myself in a state of panic regarding over-heating, it was with immense pleasure that I alighted from the car to the fresh intensity of 7 degrees, the tranquillity of our valley, the first of our Spring bulbs and the reawakening of our birdlife.
I like to think that nature and fate was sending me a message: 'Living overseas is the right thing to do at the moment'. We're simply meant to be here for a while longer.
Or at least until all of the family have had their Italian holiday experience!