Unexpected Good from the Unexpected

 I write from Pisa – home of the tower of… and yet there is so much more to this small but lovely city.  The photos on the right and left are from the Piazza di Cavalieri in the center of town, a beautiful harmonious square which also houses a large coptic cathedral.

In the Church many pieces of art work depicting ancient stars of David and crescent moons – reflect a harmony from Egypt where the Coptic Church began.







Today I climbed the 300 stairs to the top.

What a blessing of abundance, this trip to Italy. It has been an adventure to stay with people I did not know before, and to discover how many friends I have in this country.  Servas is an association of travellers and hosts which began after the second world war, when a man, then in Denmark, believed that if people would live with other people in foreign countries, this would reduce fear of strangers and increase brotherhood of mankind. He travelled around the entire globe. Today in every country around the world, there are Servas hosts and travellers. I have been both a host and traveller for almost 20 years. Some of my greatest experiences in life have come from Servas travelling.  This trip to Italy is a great example.

For example yesterday at 9:30. I was picked up by a friend of my hostess, Evelina, a lovely woman Adriana who lives in the nearby countryside. She is recently retired and was more than happy to show me around the city. Since she speaks only Italian (and my one college semester of Italian makes mine EXTREMELY rusty), she invited another friend Elizabeth, a French woman, to join us. With Elizabeth I could freely converse in French. Adriana could approximate the French, which is close to Italian.

We walked and walked and walked. It was heaven. We helped Adriana buy new pyjamas for a pyjama party she will attend this weekend. We bought a gift for her 6 month old grand niece. We went to the neighborhood where Elizabeth first lived when she moved from France to Italy some 30 years ago.

We ended up eating lunch in a renovated building, a restaurant which is part of a social project to provide work for special needs adults and to renovate dilapidated areas.  Our meal was delicious and inspiring. The owner invited us to see another location around the corner. The community adults made the ceramic tiles which had just been laid on the floor.

They have a music therapy group as well. Ends up, the director is a music therapist. She took us to the corner Church come community center where the group was in rehearsal for an upcoming concert.  They were excited to welcome us. I offered a Hebrew spiritual to the group. It was heaven!  A new door opened for future collaboration.

Last night, after dinner, Evelina my hostess took me on a night tour of Pisa. My first visit to the tour inspired me so much, I broke out into song… singing an ode to Pisa:


It was eerie to see the tower in the dark. Amazingly powerful. The angle of the building creates a weird sensation as if it is about to fall. Yet it does not fall.

An angelic voice from the opposite end of the gigantic square. We were attracted like bees to honey. Fortunately she did not see me filming, so they left the door open. Just opposite was the tower, haunting with Majestic presence. It is a memory I will treasure for a lifetime. The tower is very dark in this video, but I hope you will feel the power nonetheless….

I am blessed to share these memories with you.

What unexpected pleasures have happened to you when you said YES to life, yet had no idea how things would work out? What are your tresured memories? I would love to know.

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