A day in the country

September 26, 2009

The day is overcast. But not cold.

Tires crunch on gravel in the distance. Leaves move, almost imperceptibly.

A bird chirps behind me. Not loudly. But continuously, for half a minute. Another one chatters loudly in response. I wonder what they’re saying.

Dishes clank gently in the kitchen. It’s the sound of the labor of hospitality.

Clothespins support sheets and towels on a line. When they’re dry and hanging neatly in the bathroom, they’ll smell of sun and country air.

It sounds idyllic.

But life is not easy in the country.

The power cycles on and off. Internet goes dark. The heater doesn’t always work.

Atop the hill, the winter snow can isolate villagers for days. Days of cold and dark. Of put-up jams, cheeses and cured meats.

And yet, life feels strangely harmonious.

In the States we control our environment. We control our environment so much that it enrages us when we can’t.

Here in Italy, there is almost a fatalistic attitude.

Italians know they can not control everything. Even with modern conveniences and technology. Especially with modern conveniences and technology.

They don’t get exercised over it. They shrug and take it in stride.

It’s just the way it is. The way it’s been for centuries.

The way it will always be. At least here in the country.

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