The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper. ~ W.B. Yeats
You know how there are some places that just fill up your senses; places that manage to feel completely magical and totally familiar at the same time? Siena was one of those places for me. I had never even heard of it before I went there, but it absolutely had me at hello.
For some, the overt Catholicism of Italy can be a bit much, but for me, the unabashed glory was soul-filling. Yes, you can tell me All Of The Things about religion and church and I will agree with you on lots of them – but I will still stand still in the middle of a cathedral as ridiculously decorated as the one in Siena and I will hold my breath in awe.
And I will wonder.
I do the same thing as I stand amongst trees or flowers or see beautiful art or eat delicious food or admire beauty or ingenuity or feel connection or notice kindness or talent or magic of any kind.
I do the same thing when I see something that makes me really laugh, like this clothesline of tights (I don’t know if they have a technical name) hanging on a clothesline outside of another church in Siena. The sheer every-day-ness of the laundry coupled with the shrine to the Holy Mother filled my soul with just as much delight as any painting.
I know I should go all Dalai Lama on you and agree that my religion is kindness, but for me it is not. My religion is the moments that make me stop and wonder. My religious practice consists of existing as much as possible in that state of true connection; in those moments that pull me out of my head and put me right into a state of gratitude.
I believe that in those moments, I am as close to God/ the goddess/ the Universe/ the Mystery/ (choose your own word) as it is possible for me to be.
And I am looking to spend as much of my time there as possible.