Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Running on espresso

I usually set out around 7 am and run for 45 minutes, run being the oxymoron in Italia, along a stone “boardwalk” that borders the coast of the Adriatic Sea. Today I shaved three minutes off my time (a) because 90 year-old men were passing me and (b) when in Rome (or Caorle) do at the Romans (aka Caorolians) do. So I am immerging, or maybe submerging into the culture, drinking the espresso, eating gelato, reading the newspaper and picking up the pace on my runs while slowing the pace for the rest of the day. Like at the Lavender Festival, Festa di Lavande, where the samples of food were served, in due time, and people just sat on benches and chatted, catching up with neighbors and new friends. It was a nice feeling, sitting on a bench soaking up the day without a packed agenda. Dinner can start anywhere between 7 and 7:30, when it is ready, and it is ok because there is more time to sit on the porch and chat. Shops all close here at noon and reopen between 4 and 5 after the hottest of the afternoon sun has set. With many stores without air conditioning and temperatures in the 90’s in June, this is a necessity. Shop keepers take a break for lunch (pranza) and the world gets a break from the blasts of energy- hungry air conditioning.

Lavande is cut twice a year and can be made into essential oils for relaxation (great for those little bouncy bambinos). It is also growing along the “boardwalk,” and in full bloom at the moment. As I jog (notice the new word) by I run my palm over the fragrant blossoms and inhale the relaxing scent of lavender. Meanwhile 3 runners pass me. These folks are not taking time to smell the lavender, they are on a mission. But soon they will head to work, I will head to breakfast and class, and the day will slow as the sun climbs in the sky, as stores close, as people sleep, as the sun sets and the day unwinds, as I wake up and start again. This time a little quicker.


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