I was missing all sections of my family Thursday. But, as I sat at the kitchen table here in Sicily with Fiona, with a nontraditional shepherds pie (due to the dearth of turkeys in Sicily), I realized I was equally grateful today...to share a meal with someone I already care about a lot in a place in which God is blessing me everyday. (The guests and Fabrizia and Costanza were all gone...Fiona and I had the place to ourself).
So I reflected what that means here in Sicily. Even without turkeys, sweet potatoes, my grandmother's awesome sage-cornbread stuffing, pie, and family, there are elements of this season in Sicily that seem familiar to me. It is also a time for harvest and thanksgiving. Olives are being harvested and pressed for oil, the grapes are being pressed and fermented for next year's wine, the almonds are fresh from the autumn harvest, and Case Vecchie's storerooms are full of squashes and other winter vegetables. The year is winding down into winter and the days are now chilly and wonderfully somber. The hills are in shades of purple, sages, and browns, with the occasional splash of autumnal gold (see above).