You might have noticed that I have a new picture at the top of my letter. This is not just a pretty picture it is a special place for your Nona and I. It is the town of Manarola which is one of the 5 towns that make up the area on the Italian Riviera known as Cinque Terra.
We would love to take you there one day. We had a chance to spend 3 days there a few years ago when we were traveling around Italy and would consider it one of our two most favorite places in the world. Here are a few reasons why – with a couple of lessons that are worth keeping in mind:
We enjoyed the incredible beauty – Breathtaking beauty in fact. The picture in no way comes close to depicting how beautiful this area is. Part of our time was spent just sitting and enjoying what our eyes could take in. Likewise, even here in the States we need to look for and enjoy the beauty around us. God has created a beautiful world. Yes, a world that in many ways has been marred by and smudged by The Fall – but there is still much beauty to behold if we will look for it. It may come in the form of a landscape, or a smile, or a sunrise. But take the time to enjoy and be captivated by beauty.
We enjoyed good food – We have a lot of food memories from our trip but a few of our favorites come from Cinque Terra. There was a little hole in the wall place in Manarola where we got a delicious Basil Pesto something that made our mouths water. And then there was a bakery at the top of the hill in Vernazza called the Pirate Caffe that had some awesome treats worth going back for. Needless to say, I like good food. In our spiritual lives we need to make sure that we are getting the food that is necessary to sustain us and help us grow. Don’t neglect to let the Word of God feed you daily so that you can serve Him vigorously.
We enjoyed good exercise – One of the fun things to do in Cinque Terra is to hike from town to town and enjoy the sights along the way. We took a hike from Riomaggiore to our town of Manarola which ’bout killed me. We had to climb over a mountain. It was indeed good exercise and after it was over I was thrilled that we had done it even though it hurt along the way. In our journey with God, often we need to push ourselves and allow our faith to be stretched in order to experience greater joy and to get to know the Lord better.
We enjoyed good rest – Our time in Cinque Terra was about half way through our trip. We had already spent a few weeks exploring Rome and Sorento and Florence and Tuscany and we were tired. CT was a great place to rest and be refreshed so we could enjoy the rest of the trip. Yes we got good exercise but we also got good rest. We need good rest. Which is exactly why the Lord instituted the Sabbath. As you grow up make sure that you take the time to rest and to allow your body and your soul to be refreshed.
Nona and I hope to do some traveling with you in the days to come. There is much to be learned and many memories yet to be made.
Never ever forget that you are very loved!