About twenty or so people have asked me in the last few months if I've read Elizabeth Gilbert's book Eat Pray Love. I have it, but had not read it. After reviewing books for my old church's newsletter for umpteen years, I vowed to not read a religious book for a while, and the book did have "pray" in the title. But I kept thinking maybe I ought to read it, if only because I hate the idea of a lot of others having read a book I haven't read!
At the airport waiting for our plane to NYC to see my daughters, I realized that I had already read the book I brought for the trip. In the terminal bookstore, the only paperback I hadn't read was Gilbert's book. Reluctantly I bought it. One hundred pages later I was totally hooked. As soon as we got to New York I told my daughters that we absolutely had to eat Italian food that night. And I don't even like Italian food all that much. Pizza, meatballs, olives! I wanted a table overburdened with red sauce and mozzarella cheese and fat bottles of red wine and bread with olive oil and herbs.
Over the course of the weekend, we had our challenges. We have three beautiful, strong-willed, intelligent daughters, and that's a lot of power in one place. But by this point in the weekend Gilbert was at an ashram in India, meditating and getting all peaceful and communing with spiritual masters. It helped.
On the plane back, I read the third section of the book which is set in Indonesia. Gilbert fell in love which certainly made things more romantic for my husband and me in the mini-airplane booster seats.
I often remember books by the setting in which I read them. This book will forever be associated in my mind with our trip this past weekend. We ate at wonderful restaurants, visited our oldest daughter's school and met her students and co-workers, went with our artist daughter to MOMA where she gained some new inspiration, sensed a new maturity and confidence in our youngest daughter. I realized anew that my children are grown with their own lives, and that I have to trust their instincts and leave their care to my higher power.
Eat, pray, love - it was a very satisfying weekend.