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.

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1 Ryo { 11.26.09 at 11:41 am }

Mmm, it looks do-able on bike, too…

2 big mama { 11.26.09 at 3:16 pm }

How did you get to be so wise?

3 Dad { 11.26.09 at 3:41 pm }

Seems we sometimes learn more from our kids than they’ve learned from us. Keep those thoughts alive as you progress through life Kid and pass them on to whomever will listen and observe……

4 big mama's buddy { 11.26.09 at 8:41 pm }

Those second chances usually turn into third and fourth chances and before you know it, I realize that every day could actually be a new chance for change or growth or whatever!! Keep it up!

5 Ryo { 12.16.09 at 4:12 am }

Update… as it was nice frosty morning and I needed to deliver the laptop down to Deb in Fornaci, I cycled down via Mologno, then, I decided to come back up the way you walked down.

It was very nice… I think it’s easier than coming up the main road via Loppia apart from the “insanely steep” bit at the top, which I carried my bike up.

I think I’ll take Luigi down with me one of these days.

6 KFlick { 12.16.09 at 7:51 am }

Super fun! I’m glad you made it! Lu will love that.

7 Ryo { 12.28.09 at 2:13 pm }

Another update… after all the snow and rain we had in the past week, it was dry sunny day yesterday… and I took Luigi down the path.
Apart from having to carry TWO bikes down the steep bit, it was very nice… and even Luigi said how much he enjoyed it.

However, he wasn’t so keen on the ice skating that we did once we got to Fornaci… He gave up after ¼ hour saying it was too hard.

8 KFlick { 12.28.09 at 5:54 pm }

Glad you took him and that he liked it. Skating is hard. I couldn’t walk right for a week after I went with Tom.