Walking in my housecoat outside across the back lawn I approached the chicken coop. I called to the girls, wishing them a good morning, cooing as they stepped out of their perch and into the pen. I fed them corn, promised to be back for lettuce and water a little later, and wandered back towards the house.

I stopped to check the plant pots sitting on the patio, watering some of the dry ones. I surveyed the glorious backyard stretching back almost a half acre. I by-passed the white door entrance to our place and walked 100m down the driveway to retrieve the morning paper.

I caught a whiff of coffee brewing near by. I let myself close my eyes for just a moment.

I was rewound to a year ago; to awakening in the early autumn morning chill in Tuscany. Running the streets of our small town as men cut the strings of the day's paper, and little coffee places opened up, the first customers of the day standing smoking and drinking their espresso. I can see each long stretch of breath I exhale into the dark morning. I can see every corner, every street name, every small fiat, the grocer, the main piazza, each traffic circle, intersection and the borders marking the edge of town.

I open my eyes. I look up and down the street of where I live now. One year ago, I didn't even know this place existed, that I would be living here, let alone a new city. The people that live below in the house below us, every member of my triathlon club, my work environment, strangers. The newness of my life winds me for a moment. I had that sensation that you have the second before fainting; the blackness dancing on the edge of my vision. So I sat down at the end of the long driveway.

I feel a small smile coming on. Sitting in my blue pj pants with apples on them, my orange flip flops, glasses and black housecoat. I love the recall of that moment, but I am glad I am not in it. In fact, I am glad I am here.

I wander back to the house, make myself some breakfast, and begin my day.