Thursday, June 21, 2012

Heat

Fifteen years ago I was in Rome on this twenty-first day of June. The trip had been my first chance to know the city, to walk its streets, to take in its antiquity in great gulps.

I stayed in a guesthouse run by an American order of nuns, and my room was very small. Each night I lay without airconditioning atop the sheets. It would take hours before the one open window provided a change of air. Nightly I got to fall asleep to the sounds of a neighborhood of families ending their day.

I did not need it any other way. I barely knew it could be.

Rome was old and I was new.

If there was heat, there was a shower attached to my room and I could wash and cool off. My wet hair lying on a white pillowcase, I let the strange Roman hours move over my room. Church bells rang.

New England heat has me these days remembering how to slow down, how to stop thinking, how to let the oldest rhythms of a New Orleans childhood take over.

I remember to water my flowers.

2 comments:

Ur-spo said...

lovely prose; short yet descriptive. You have a marvelous way with words.

Donald said...

Thank you for your own way with words!