Settling in Sicily: A Long Decision, Part 1

May 5, 2012

It took me years–decades actually–to settle in Europe. An adolescent daydream turned into a young woman’s pipe dream, then a middle-aged reverie.

Time flowed fast as a mountain river in spring.

It took my mother’s death to make me really get it. Time is a Thief.

Do you know what I read to her on her deathbed? Under the Tuscan Sun. A book she’d picked out. As her life ebbed away, mine came strangely into focus. A mother’s last gift to a daughter.

Soon afterward I mustered a little courage, went against my cautious nature, and discovered Southeast Sicily.

Never mind that it took me another five years to find the house with the fat green doors. Find it I did.

Cui camina licca, cui sedi sicca.  

Who walks gains, who sits withers.  

(Old Sicilian proverb)


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41 comments to Settling in Sicily: A Long Decision, Part 1

  • rachel wesson

    Under the Tuscan Sun, great movie. I liked Letters to Juliet too. I have been dreaming of the day I can walk where my grandparents walked. Enna,Sicily and Trento, Italy. Someday!

    • Jann

      Welcome to the blog, Rachel, and thanks so much for leaving your comments. Much appreciated, and may your dream come true. (If you want it enough, it will happen for sure!)

  • rachel

    You are living my dream. My grandmother was from Enna and my grandfather was from Trento, Italy. I have to visit one day. I’m afraid I won’t want to come back to the states.

    • Jann

      Rachel, I’m sure you’ll make it to Sicily someday soon. Enna is an impressive city to behold, way high up on a mountain.

  • Anitre

    Mothers know best! You have had such good fortune to have a knowing Mother and to have embarked on your dream. Forza!

  • Jann, my sister gave me the book “Under the Tuscan Sun” after I divorced husband number one. It was inspirational, to say the least. When I finished it, I began thinking that I too could move to the Tuscan Region and live happily ever after in a villa called Bramasole. It is my dream and one I hope I will come true. I’m so happy you’re living your dream and that behind those beautiful green doors lies your home. Brava! 🙂

    • Jann

      Hold on tight to that dream of Bramasole. Maybe Frances Mayes would be willing to sell in a few years? 🙂 Are you really ready to take care of all those olive trees?

  • Ian Henry

    Ok not complete, more tomorrow good night god bless, thanks again.

  • Ian Henry

    Ok jan so moving, and so true, we are there 17/20 may not sure if we will stay in Venice for a few days. Would love to know what’s behind the green door!!!! Hope you have heard of the song if not I will get it for you when we hopefully meet, you will love it. Keep up the good work, like you not sure about the airport,but I am shure

    • Jann

      Well, Ian, there’s a pretty small house behind those green doors–nothing like your country estate, I’m sure–but come visit!

  • sandee wheeler

    Your Mother was an inspiration to many!! Thanks for sharing with us.
    love love

  • Nancy

    Jan, you’re living my dream. Love your blog.

  • cemal karahan

    Hi, Jann..! While most people are trying to find a place in the U.S.A in any way, as an American citizen, your coming to Sicily and settling down there is miraculous indeed. Most Sicillians are in America, as you know..!I wish you happiness all the time, which I belive you found there…! My warmest regards to local people…!

    • Jann

      🙂 Yeah, it’s pretty strange, isn’t it! And thank you for your god wishes–I’m sending them back to you, Cemal.

  • A beautiful post Jann, on many levels. It made me cry. I love the green door, the dream, the lesson. I probably need that last one more than anyone right now ;-). Your mother knew you so well…Un abbraccio stretto, Janine xxx

    • Jann

      Oh, Janine! Didn’t mean to make you cry! Patience, Janine, and you’ll figure out a way to Italy. xxxxxxx

  • Pina Marra

    Touching…thanks for sharing with us your memories…

    • Jann

      Pina, thanks for reading and commenting. Sending a big kiss up to you in Calabria. xxxxxx

  • Happy Mother’s Day Early….♥

  • ***Do you know what I read to her on her deathbed? Under the Tuscan Sun. A book she’d picked out. As her life ebbed away, mine came strangely into focus. A mother’s last gift to a daughter.***

    Jann, my heart, my heart.

    Love Xxxxxx

  • My mother passed in October of 2009 and I first visited Italy in November of that same year. Life is for living, is it not? I love the proverb you quoted. It is so true.

  • jan walcott

    il mio cuore sempre batte un po’ presto quando ho visto la tua “blog” sul mia email. Il significato del tuo messagio mi parla. La vita e’ corta, non sprecarla!

  • I like your “fat green doors.” Its funny how you dreamed it and finally got here, and I never in my wildest dreams planned on staying, and yet here I am!

  • Lisa

    Thanks for that…can’t wait to hear what comes next.

  • Lise

    Thanks for sharing your dream and the hard work it took to accomplish it. It is inspiring.

  • sue

    I love your blog, it’s wonderful, today I am reminded of Mary Oliver, the poet, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do
    with your one wild and precious life?”

  • You have said so much in those few words, yet you have said it all……thank you, Jann,

    • Jann

      Ciao Cara–thanks for this. We’re certainly birds of a feather when it comes to a dream, and the time it takes to get there, aren’t we????

  • This brings tears to my eyes, of sorrow, loss, longing, hope…and happiness that you went after your dream and found it.

    • Jann

      Lynne,thank you! It’s the way I responded to your last post about the orchid lady–teary-eyed!

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