Thursday, July 13, 2006

Walking to Class in Camerano, Italy


Small bits of moisture form at the base of her neck as she continues to climb. The hills that once looked so steep now seem lower. The work is no less difficult, and the sweat still the same. Step, step, step. Without instruction, her legs carry her closer to her final destination. She calculates the time left until she reaches the pinnacle, as if trying to cure the pain that begins to throb through her left Achilles tendon. The right tendon will not be outdone, and begins to ache as well. More hot moisture forms in the crevices of her elbows and knees. Step, step, ache. She has to instruct her legs to carry on as the pain hinders her ability to walk. Step, ache, ache. She sees the top of the hill. She feels the sweat beneath her clothes. Cursing her pain, she continues her climb onward as she wipes away the moisture from her cheeks. Ache, ache, ache. She reaches the top and considers her magnificent feat while taking in the view. The clear blue skies sing to her, as if nothing in the world matters. The picturesque towns adorning each hilltop with rich terracotta roofs and freshly washed white linen hanging from balconies. Enjoying a long breath of fresh air, she is conscious of the flat ground, her beating heart, and the sweat she desperately desires to erase from her skin. She admires herself and her accomplishment before she frowns knowing that it must be done again the next day.

Kelly Erickson-Gonzaga University

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