I want to walk on cobblestones again, and I want to walk everywhere. I want to hail taxis in the pouring rain and hold umbrellas up like we're in Mary Poppins.
I want to go to the Trevi again, and not make a wish, but just stand there, when there's no one else there (this is an impossible dream) and look at it.
I want to eat gelato out of a little paper cup with a colored plastic spoon.
I want to say 'gratzi' and 'scussi' and then eventually just learn to speak Italian.
I want to cross the Tiber every single day.
I want to ride on the scary subway, and get off at every stop just to see what is there.
I want to sit on stone steps that are thousands of years old and eat potato pizza.
I want to find a way to go into the Sistine Chapel before anyone else is there, lie on the floor, and just stare up at it for an hour. I seriously wanted to do that, but believe me, I would have been trampled. And no one would have noticed.
I want to buy way more Italian candy.
I want to get my own espresso because it is amazing.
I want to buy a phone card for every person back home and talk to them for hours and not worry about sleep, because seriously, when there's coffee, there's a way.
Eat the breakfast on the plane because your next meal could be at 4 pm.
I want to go back, knowing everything I know now, and not be so worried about everything. I want to go back and have an even better time than last time, because I know I'll live through it, and because I know exactly what I don't want to miss out on again.
I want to find a way to meet Pope Benedict XVI.
I want to meet real Italians and become friends with them.
I want to take the train all the way to Pompey and back.
In 2006, Kate DiCamillo wrote a book called The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. A friend had given her as a gift a lovely china rabbit, and one night, Kate dreamed that the rabbit was lying face down on the bottom of the ocean. She wrote his story to find out how he got there.
The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo is a very moving, beautiful story about a china rabbit named Edward. Edward Tulane was a very fine, beautiful rabbit who lived on Egypt Street. He had been specially ordered for a little girl named Abilene by her grandmother. He was white, with beautiful blue painted eyes, and was made entirely out of china, except for his whiskers and real rabbit-fur ears. He was pampered beyond luxury by his adoring mistress, but he did not love her. Abilene loved Edward more than anything else in the world, but Edward loved only himself. Pellegrina, Abilene’s grandmother, was gravely disappointed in Edward, because his purpose had been to love Abilene and care for her. She warned Edward what could happen to those who refused to love, but he didn’t listen. And one day, Edward was lost. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane is the story of how he was found again, and how he learned to love.
Edward is the kind of character with a well-guarded heart. He is so frozen in selfishness, because his heart is just as breakable as the rest of him, that he is incapable of any feelings. The first feeling he experiences in his story is fear, and he slowly allows his hard china heart feel gratitude, and joy, and at long last, love. Slowly, very slowly, Edward comes to life. His journey from being aloof and self-centered to loving and grateful is a truly miraculous one filled with achingly beautiful characters who all teach Edward something about being willing to risk a fragile heart to loving, losing, and loving again anyway.
As I went along with Edward on his miraculous journey, meeting fishermen and hobos and children, I saw a lot of myself in him. I recognized his unwillingness to love, because loving is hard, and it can hurt us very badly. I recognized his selfishness, and I understood his desire to be detached from the world, where he and his fragile little heart would be safe. But Edward was able to love, even after his heart was broken. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane is a very simple, very short tale, but to this day, it has greatly impacted me. It made me see myself differently, because it forced me to think of how I have often been blinded to beauty, and it made me see stories differently, because at some points, you forget it is a story and feel you are right there with Edward. I will always remember how it felt to go from being angry with Edward, to feeling sorry for him, and finally rejoicing with him when he is found. Edward found his way into my heart, and I think he will always have a place there.