After England, I was on the last leg of my travels. I stopped by Bordeaux to meet with two Sangha friends, Sophie and Melissa. They had just come out of an intensive 3 week retreat. It was so good to meet up with Sangha. We have a particular way of understanding each other is that is unique amongst people.
We explored the sea nearby and the city, visiting the Cathédrale-Primatiale Saint-André, the Miroir d’eau (water mirror), and had lunch in the public gardens.
Before I left France, I stopped by a huge supermarket and saw 3 employees getting around in rollerskates.
That was fun.
I really loved my time in France. I feel like France is the genuine world leader. It is an innovator for permaculture. Resources are readily available for those wanting to pursue a greener way of living. Gardening is thing there. The social welfare system is good. People are nice (as long as you say “bonjour” and attempt to speak french). The food is great. The towns/ cities are well planned for public transportation, community spaces, and pedestrian traffic.
After France, I headed to Italy (Veneto region) once again, to catch my flight back to the US.
The evening I arrived, I was picked up by Elena, my Italian host mother from 10 years ago, who hosted me as I was teaching in an english city camp for kids. It is always a joy meeting with Elena. Her house is beautiful and reminds me of what is possible with a disciplined studious lifestyle. She and her partner are both specialized physicians.
The rest of the time in Italy, I was staying with Roberta. We went out one evening to a “color party” festival that included over paying for colored baby powder and then throwing it on each other.
I really appreciated my last days in Montebelluna, spending time alone in the city park, reflecting on all the previous events that had led me to that point, and socializing at small get togethers with friends. I am overwhelmed with gratitude and found a renewed sense of joy, at the end of this chapter of life.
I also have to make mention of an amazing vegan ice cream my friend Francesco serves at his gelato store, made from the Lupin bean. Its the taste of joy, and it has protein!
Seriously, its like crack (really good crack).