It was one rough arff.
At 4 am in Italy this morning, the song coming through the open window of my b&b farm bedroom was of an old, tired dog. I'd been sleeping well up until that point. At first, I wasn't even sure it was the sound of a dog but soon I decided that it was, the occasional gruff arffff of one old and bored. He remarked about 10 times over a 30-minuted period and then silence lulled me back to sleep.
One hour later, singing through the same windows were the morning songs of a variety of birds. Birds in foreign places is one of my very favorite sounds because their songs are not American in any way. They are singing of a different life altogether, but occasionally I hear hints of familiarity. It's also one of my favorite things about this world as a whole. So different. So same. If only everyone understood this. One bird in particular this morning was composing such a song in my ear that it nearly made me cry. It was so beautiful because it was so different. Such a gift to me.
Yesterday for me was filled with traveling shenanigans. Planes, trains and automobiles. Wrong trains but right places. I'm driving a spunky little car with 1/2 a map - meaning - the place I'm staying is literally off the map, but the map got me to the edge, both literally and emotionally. I must have missed a sign somewhere - probably while dodging all the haphazard norm of Italian streetcar drivers. Then I couldn't stop to ask directions because there is no parking here. I swear, if they could, these locals would park on top of each other. Only a sweet miracle from Jesus was going to save me, and He indeed did ....(again).... Not only a parking place, but a sweet Italian woman about my age who helped me find my way back to the edge of the map so I could start again. I found the sign I had originally overlooked and then eventually made it to my stopping place - the home of the songs of Italian birds and dogs.
Today is so new and so fresh. The most glorious morning breakfast spread I have ever seen. I'm even braving new foods. I spent time in the fresh air on the stunning grounds this morning and looked in wonder and awe at the views of Tuscan countryside - a dream come true. I couldn't be more grateful to be here.
Yesterday was my one gruff arff.
Today is my Italian bird song.
**Thank you to my Momma who helped me finance this trip before I return back to Zim to see my other family. And to my husband who has worked extra shifts to help pay for all of our missions trips this season. I love my people. Oh and me - I worked hard too. And to those friends and family who bought jasper or donated to my mission fund (the Zim portion) thank you again and again.