We went to the Giardino dei Aranci and had to use 4 senses – everything BUT sight. So here’s my entry:
I sit on a stone bench that was already warm from hours of daylight. A persistent breeze swirls around, so despite how bright the sun is shining, the weather is not stifling or sticky. I try my hardest to pick out a scent from the wind, whether oranges or the flowery smell that lingers in the narrow alleyways with white flowers climbing the walls. I only manage to inhale deep breaths of crisp air with no distinct scent. I realize that I wasn’t as congested as I was when I arrived in Italy. I inhale deeper, having forgotten what it felt like. The clean air reminds me of those large white bed sheets flapping in the wind in advertisements for laundry detergent.
I feel a tingling sensation on my shoulders as the skin that was recently sunburned recovers. A small bead of sweat is forming on my forehead – the sun is stronger than I thought. With a tilt of my head, it rolls down, getting lost in my eyebrow. I run my hands over the stone of the bench, admiring the smooth plateaus from years of supporting sitters. Birds call out, the left responding to the right in an array of notes and patterns.
Suddenly, it sounds like something is rolling over the gravel next to me – a bicycle or a cart – with a woman chatting loudly on her cell phone. I cringe as she interrupts my moment. This woman, the plane that flew over the park, and the distant traffic cut through the sounds of nature when I lose my ‘center’ and open my eyes.