Where does one find God? This question has been following me through Italy as I explore churches and sacred sites. Today I am in Assisi, at the basilica of Saint Francis, which is, to put it bluntly, the most beautiful place in the world. High vaulted painted ceilings (dark sky with stars), painted frescoes adorning the walls, marble floors, mosaics, and a lower chapel that houses his tomb. Sitting on a pew in this place I cannot help but be overwhelmed with awe, wonder and tears. Taking the train from the coast the landscape visually changes from flat to hilly, with little villages tucked up into these hills. From the basilica, the view is, well, it is unexplainable. I am speechless again. One has to walk uphill to get anywhere her, and maybe it is the physical exhersion that makes this a magical place, the sweat releases some kind of endorphin perhaps, or the heart is racing and forces joyful hallucinations. Whatever it is, the pictures don't do this area justice. I got in last night at around midnight, the churches were lit and a moon hung in the sky. Today, seeing for miles, on top of the world, I find God. In the basilica, where I can see art that people have been seeing for at least 800 years, I find God. I guess the answer to my question is everywhere. Leaving this place on Monday will be sad. I have been embraced and welcomed by this country's landscape and people. I will be returning as soon as I can, to a step back into history, to the hills, the sea, the music of the language and the sacred places that fill me with grace.