One of my favorite places in Cortona is the monastery and sanctuary of Le Celle. Saint Francis of Assisi came here in 1210 to set in motion the creation of a small monastic settlement. He preferred solitude and would seek out wooded areas to withdraw and meditate. Perhaps I feel a tiny portion of what he must have felt, where as I have made this journey to Cortona 806 years later, with only my little dog as my companion. Granted I am not living in the woods nor am I a preacher, I am instead living on a farm with slithering snakes, noisy roosters, barking dogs and singing birds that keep me awake at night. Silence is non existent.
I don't think Saint Francis could meditate under these conditions.
But I try to be present and live in the moment and quiet my mind....
and soon I am talking to myself and the strange part is ...sometimes I answer back.
It is said that in nearby Lake Trasimeno there is an island called Isola Maggiore where Saint Francis spent time. While there, he witnessed a miracle. Perhaps, if I visit this island, I too will experience a miracle ....the miracle of meeting a man in Italy who's not married.