I met a girl who swam in the rain. And I swam in it too. I would let my body sink and would listen to the pelting of the water above my head. The drops were like hail as they hit your skin, but it was new and fun. The rain left as quickly as it had come, soon forgotten by many. The water was cooling and refreshing in the humidity that surrounded us. It reminded me of a greenhouse with sticky, hot air which makes your lungs feel drunk. All was good.
In the evenings my Ma and I would sit on her balcony and play cards or dominoes. There would be music from the terrace below, sometimes a mellow piano and sometimes a guitar. Afterwards I’d drag my tired body back to my room and fall asleep watching the twinkling lights skirting Vesuvius. Every night I had a smile on my face as I drifted off, and I cherished that feeling of being so light and limp.
I wrote, a lot. Something was sparked, alive, inspired inside of me. I felt like a true artist living the plot line of a novel’s character. I wrote verses and photographed this beautiful hazy town. I felt so free, so motivated and so new. Something about Sorrento and Italians in general inspired me. Their constantly smiling faces, the way they’d embrace in the street and all sit and watch the evenings fade into blissful dusk where wine glasses would chink and everyone would be warm and merry. I loved their rolling r’s and their friendliness to strangers, the way they were so proud to share their culture and everyone in the town was just so nice. I cried a little because they were so nice and it felt good to meet such lovely people.
The flowers grew in 10 foot arches over our heads and the lemons were bigger than footballs. One evening we were walking down the long driveway to the hotel when an orange fell from the tree and landed right at our feet. It made us jump in the dark before we fell into peals of laughter. It felt good to be so carefree. And my heart welled as to how good it felt to be so free.
There was a thunderstorm on the day with the heavy rain where the girl and I swam in the pool. The sun peeked from clouds as the mountains around us echoed with thunder’s rumble which reminded me of when I was young and constantly getting tummy aches. I felt sorry for the mountains. The thunder rolled and purred for a while before it settled, quietly and gently. We were all floppy in the heat, so we just listened. It was like being at peace with the world around you, you become unafraid of the noises it makes and instead find comfort in the noises the earth provides.
And no matter how many countless times I have visited Italy, their way of life always astounds me. It leaves me yearning for more, and that’s what makes trips so special. When you leave feeling sad because you’ll miss everything about it, and you know it’s only a matter of time before you’re back to explore again. The wetted appetite for more adventures, and that heroic stir in the stomach for journeying to a new place and loving it so deeply is what keeps some motivated. I feel it’s possessed me too.
On the way home, I sat next to a gentleman who snored very loudly and wore a pretty coloured shirt. I imagined his name was something friendly like Geoff or Ben. He started to tell me about rain clouds being bumpy because I think he could see I was scared with the turbulence. He had a reassuring smile and I felt happy just listening about how clouds form and forgetting about feeling scared. I hoped he had a nice family who would greet him at the airport, I imagined he’d have 2 or 3 children who would hug him hello.
I met a girl who swam in the rain, and I think it taught me how to live more.