I feel like I’ve lived many lives in this one blessed lifetime i am in. Wore many masks and got the opportunity to try them all on for size. I remember less that a decade ago running my life by the clock, being productive, multitasking. Efficient and respectful – i called it! So that didn’t work … i was overwhelmed, always in my head, outwardly looking sooo successful but miserable on the inside …. no surprises there. So … typical me i explore the extreme opposite, threw my watches away, and ambled through my day, cancelled coffees on a whim, ran late for almost everything – and while i was a lot calmer and forgiving of myself – I didn’t get much done in the way of everyday living. So the balance between the two is where I’m currently operating and on this pilgrimage the question keeps coming up – how much to plan and how much to just wing it and go with the flow…

I started yesterday with an intention to being the master of time, or maybe it was just submitting to time and its will. Relinquishing control. And what do you know, as i left my boutique hotel in Firenze, just about 50m away from a hotel in a usually vacant park was a Saturday Antique market.

Now anyone who knows me will tell you i love other peoples stuff, i find it tells a story and has so much more depth and meaning. I find myself making up stories about pieces of furniture, ornaments etc. that i usually pick up for my home from Melville in Johannesburg.

So this was quite a feast for me – opened up a whole new range of stories involving the Renaissance, Medici family and Italia Mamas… So my inner child was loving this spread, touching and taking in amazing pieces, smelling musty old people smells and spinning tales all at the same time. Quite sensational.

I then stopped at a rather inconspicuous store that caught my attention cos of the old grandfather clock. Similar to the clock from my grandparents home that donged every hour in their lounge. I remember it disturbing my sleep on my holiday sleepovers on the pull out sofa bed. Well this store owner was clearly as committed as i was to understand time and its meaning in our lives. He had made jewelry, rings, bracelets, pendants (everything other than watches) with old watch faces. Every shape, colour and size. Something out of Alice in Wonderland – i tell you.

I was intrigued, captivated! As i played with the intricate pieces, it dawned on me – I’m standing in an antique market that has evidenced the timelessness of items -showing me how the time has passed for an item in the hands of one but just begun in the hands of another. How one mans junk is another mans treasure. And how we can throw away history and time or cherish it.

So i guess my learning was to put time into the perspective that serves me best. Not to be enslaved by it, not to try to control it, but instead to let it be as it is and to include it and shape it for my life as it best serves me. For this trip i have earmarked how to spend 20% of my time on sights, tours and reflection activities and as for the rest………

Time will tell!