Tales of a wandering lesbian

Second chances

Yesterday I struck out on a great adventure – finding the forest path from Barga to Fornaci.  Armed with vague directions and an enthusiasm to find my way, I muddled along the wrong road, down the wrong path, and past the wrong goats – all the way to the wrong end of Fornaci.  It wasn’t until I got back and triumphantly posted about the excellent time I’d had that I learned I had been in the wrong place, traipsing through someone else’s woods.  To me it was a great adventure.

So, today, armed with the knowledge that I went the wrong way, and a few corrective instructions (“take the left fork” “it’s just past the big, beautiful villa”), I tried again.

The walk to the fork seemed quicker.  I recognized houses and crossed the road at the right points to avoid the whizzing cars.

Fortunately, there was only one fork before I reached the path.


There were, however several villas along the way.

Villa 1 Villa 2 Villa 3

I’m guessing the one I was looking for stood at the end of a long driveway, behind huge gates.


When I reached the end of the road this time, there was no mistake.  This was the path I was supposed to be on yesterday.  This was a legitimate PATH, complete with handrail and ropes to help me down the insanely steep slope.

Trailhead Path rails Path stairs

And there were dogs, cheering me along.


The path itself was nice.  After the initial steep, leaf-covered stretch, houses started to appear again, and the path became more of a road, eventually  turning into pavement.  It ran the entire length of a mountain ridge, only 10 yards wide in places, giving way to steep drops and dramatic, wooded views on either side.

Narrow path

Past grapevines and olive orchards it wound, eventually dropping off of the ridge right into Fornaci – 5 minutes from the house.  It was a great path.  I will take it again for sure, and probably make the reverse trek up the hill.  But, still, I really enjoyed the other walk.  Yes, the road took twice as long.  No, it wasn’t the way others would have gone.  But I had a blast, wonderfully unaware that my path was the “wrong” one.

When I got back today I thought about the second chances in my life.  The opportunities to evaluate, apply lessons-learned, and start again.  There are times I’ve had to pry second chances out of the world, but more often they’ve been given gently by others, or tentatively handed over by me, to myself.

Some people see second chances as a way to erase the past, happy to forget the first chance, the one that went the “wrong” way.  From now on, I will try to see them as a way to appreciate the beauty of the first chance, even if it’s a path I wouldn’t really want to walk again.

Bookmark and Share

November 26, 2009   8 Comments