I tell time by the church bells, reminding me of where I am in the day, as I no longer worry about getting lost in time, or in the space that surrounds me. I walk to the edge of Orsara, where “up the hill” is Orsara, and “down the hill” is not. So I walk downhill until I am tired, then judge how much I must save for the walk back up the mountain. “hai camminato da Orsara?” or something like that, is said to me with concern. I judge that this is not common. I hear cars approaching behind blind curves. I cross back and forth to safety. A road sign warns of slow tractors on the hill ahead, but it doesn’t warn about me. Between passing cars, I study the moss on the trees, the wild edible greens along the road. The flavorful weeds. I marvel at the borage, in full bloom in a drainage ditch.
I listen to the water rushing somewhere near, then the wind that drives the turbines, blowing in powerful surges. Everything is growing, including the stones. In a moment of fatigue, I contemplate the amount of life along the expanses of freshly turned soil. The dark earth smells of rain. I step onto the shoulder of the road, and my shoes sink in. The earth holds every drop.
Animals run toward me, greeting me with nervous excitement. A kitten flirts with big green eyes, and an inner motor so strong that it nearly makes him stumble. I pick him up and judge that he is well fed, a little belly silhouetted by the sun’s rays. I pass the orchards, and vineyards, and small piles of spent grapes. Olive trees that defy pruning, and chili peppers that grow just beyond the wooden gate.
Today, I look for the quiet stones, the stones moved from the fields. The ancient ones that were once here where the plows have churned the soil. They were carried to the edges, by men, wagons, and donkeys. Stoic now, in small pillars. Monuments to time.