It all seems a little backwards to me. Our priorities, the way we are forced to live our lives. I was remembering a time not so long ago when I was sitting in the middle of a square in the heart of Rome. I was tantalized by the music and the way the streets were transformed into romantic tables filled with candlelight and the aroma of tomato sauce and fresh pasta. The people were gathered there in the middle of it all sipping wine while sitting back on the marble steps engaging in conversation.
I compare that to my own busy life. When I drive down the street, neighbors are too busy staring into their phones to wave. Family dinners are replaced by 10 quick minutes of shoving food in your face and then rushing to get to the next thing. Home is filled with homework, studying, bills and emails that didn’t get finished during the day. We are racing to get that next grade, the next promotion, the next anxiety attack. We are stressed and exhausted, quite a contrast from my memory of that square. Perhaps the American Dream is actually a nightmare and it’s time to find a way to get back to the living part and remembering what’s really important.
I have a tiny patio out back surrounded by rose bushes and white lights draped overhead. Once in a while, I play that music from the square and my family sits out back as we enjoy bread and pasta and my husband and I sip some red wine. We end our evening with conversation and gelato and for a second I am back there in that square and my heart and my stomach are completely full.