Existing Member?

A Chocolate Pilgrimage

Learning to Let Go

ITALY | Wednesday, 3 June 2015 | Views [271]

When I first began to see the world, I thought a good day meant checking off every box on a packed itinerary. How did I learn to let go? Simply by watching Italians take their time.

 I was with my husband and three boys standing on a stairway carved out of  a sea cliff  on the island of Capri, waiting for our turn to pile into a rowboat and flatten ourselves along the bottom in order to clear the narrow opening we could see swallowing squealing tourists into the Blue Grotto, a sea cavern that glows with an unearthly light. I was sighing and fidgeting, irritated by the passing time. We had taken a private raft there and I thought we would get priority boarding. Alas, Angelo took our tip and pointed to the line of people sagging along the cliff under the August sun. “Ci si va,” he grinned.

 I wish I could say that my impatience stemmed from something romantic like being so close to a place visited by emperors of old. Or maybe the motherly desire not to have one of my children stumble off the narrow steps and plunge into the sea below. The truth is, though, that I was traveling with the American mentality of let’s go. That urgency bred into us that we have to get to the next place, the next thing as quickly as possible.

 I watched, staggered, as one by one the boatmen formed a group. The few of them that were wearing shirts pulled them off and sluiced water over their bodies. Some tipped back, somersaulting over the sides entirely and came up from the water laughing, flinging water from their hair all over their friends. Cigarettes came out and were passed around. Many of them lay back in their boats, bronze torsos stark against the white paint, one arm flung over their eyes. I watched the smoke curl upwards, the languid music of their conversation drifting back and forth. They were in no hurry. It was break time and these hardworking men were relaxing into it. Our tips could wait.

 It occurred to me that those men bobbing on the sea below us knew something about living. My craze to get somewhere else meant I was missing what was around me. A lemon tree had taken root and was hanging above us, scenting the air. My boys were waving at millionaires lounging on their yachts offshore. The light around us was so brilliant it was like God himself wanted to show off what he’d made.

 This was the moment to be in. I just had to turn my face to the sun and take my time.





Tags: experience, italy

Add your comments

(If you have a travel question, get your Answers here)

In order to avoid spam on these blogs, please enter the code you see in the image. Comments identified as spam will be deleted.

About hhklady

Torino's famous hazelnut chocolate

Follow Me

Where I've been

Photo Galleries


My trip journals

See all my tags 



Travel Answers about Italy

Do you have a travel question? Ask other World Nomads.