Sometimes the morning arrives too soon and all you want to do is curl up into a ball and hide from it, hoping that it will go away and you can sleep for another 12 hours. Sometimes, if you’re very quiet the morning might ignore you for a while and you can pretend it went away, but eventually it’ll realize you’re still in bed and it’ll whip off your covers and greet you with sunshine that seems just a little too bright and air that seems just a little too chilly.
Today was one of those mornings. You might think with the warm and getting warmer weather and the days that are overflowing with sunshine and fresh blooming flowers–as well as it being my last week in Italy I would have been thrilled to wake up and run away with the daylight. But somewhere between having coughing fits as I fell asleep and hearing the sound of the alarm reminding me to buy train tickets my excitement got misplaced.
I spent the morning dozing in and out of sleep, and writing words that kept coming out all wrong. After the morning had come and gone I found myself tying the shoelaces of my boots with my backpack on my back and setting out into the blindingly bright outdoors.
After an hour or so I found myself in a beautiful park, with trees and fields and little dirt paths winding their way through it all. I sat in a field of yellow flowers, and though my aching mind and body were exhausted, my deep breaths and the sound of running water were relaxing. Slowly and all at once the beauty of the day filled me up. My ukulele helped me to make music, and even though my voice was raspy with sickness I sang as many songs as I could think of. As the sun was nearly hidden by the horizon I was almost ready to begin walking home when a little girl stopped in her tracks. She watched me through the trees, and said something to her father. She had the biggest smile on her face. A moment later she ran up to me and handed me a beautiful yellow flower. “Grazie mille” were the only words I had for her that I knew she would understand, but the words were beside the point. She stayed and watched me more many more moments just smiling and all I could do was keep singing and smiling at her. I tucked the flower behind my ear. Her father called her away, but before she left she gave me another flower.
Walking home with the setting sun on my back and a city ahead of me I felt more grounded than I have in many days. Staying in bed all day seemed so silly, because, as always, I was exactly where I needed to be in that moment.