This is an image of Le Celle Hermitage, where Saint Francis of Assisi established a monastery and lived for a time. In my previous blog post, I introduced Cortona as my favorite place in the world. And it is. And, a part of Cortona, Le Celle is my most favorite hidden away haven. To get to Le Celle, you wind around the hills of Cortona. It will take you about an hour to walk. As you go along your way, the view continually changes and shifts from open vistas of the Tuscan valley to crevasses within the hills. As anticipation grows, there appears a new path that leads to Le Celle. It could be very easily missed. Even as I am writing this, my breathing becomes more relaxed and my heart more at peace. I have visited this location 3 times… 2 of which were over the past 2 years. I can see the serene and perfectly placed buildings nestled within the rocks of the hill and I can feel the warm grass and gentle breeze as I sit and eat a sandwich with pesto and fresh mozzarella. Time is lost in a place like this. There is always a sense that I will get to see it again.
It may sound somewhat melodramatic to be so taken with a small place. And it is hard to point out what exactly it is about Le Celle that brings this sense of immense peace and joy.
But one aspect to the place that I have not spoken of yet is the huge looming cross that marks the front of Le Celle. This cross in this place is one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. This joy lingers within me.
Wherever I go from here, I always hope that I will find a new place that may give me a similar sense of delight. Yet the true root of the delight of Le Celle, the cross, goes with me wherever I go. I hope I can remember this peace and delight in each new place, with each new day. I hope and look forward to seeing Le Celle again.