Saturday, June 13, 2015

New Surprises

by Autumn Reagor
We were warned at the start of this journey we would experience incredible highs (and a few lows too). The three cities are intrinsically beautiful; a rich, deep history seeping out with each new street travelled. Between the cathedrals and basilicas, artistic masterpieces, sunsets, and other natural wonders, I’ve lost count of the times this experience swept away my breath. Each day brings new surprises, wrapped in layers that await discovery. My whole spirit is being nurtured in this honeymoon phase.

I’m also experiencing a bit of culture shock. For me, these moments resonate as deep uncertainty. It is keenly felt when an elderly women on the street stops with a question. The tone of the message is clear; she is curious about our presence in her small town. Yet, her foreign words fail to make a concrete connection in my brain. My tongue rises to answer, but I don’t have the right words.

My natural shyness feels especially exaggerated with the addition of the language barrier. I have to think about everything before I do it; the only thing that comes automatically is to smile. I heard a cat the other night, so I tried calling it. But Italian street cats don't respond to kitty. Next time, I'll try gatto.