Friday, March 10, 2006

Pot of Gold

This has been a rough couple of months for me. My job at the middle school has been trying: a mix of days to celebrate and days to shrug off, with lots of discipline problems and little English-learning for a few of the classes, while other students show interest, say 'good morning teacher' in the hallways before class, and make my job a lot more pleasant. Sometimes I count down the days before I finish my three-month teaching stint, and other days I wonder, "how in the world has it gone by so fast?" No matter what day it is though--good or bad--when 7 am comes around and the alarm clock rings, I'm still exhausted and wanting desperately to hit the snooze button and go back to sleep. I know--that's what mornings are about--but for some reason these past ones have been harder to get used to than normal.

Other things have been difficult too: Antonello has been working exhausting hours for the last three months, making him tired and making me lonely. Plus, last week his mother went into the hospital, and she's been there all this time, taking tests, figuring out what is wrong. She's been sick for quite a few years now, so we've grown used to hospital visits--but I don't remember one ever lasting this long. We are working through it each day, but it's challenging, and I know how hard it's been for Antonello.

So, as I get ready for this Dublin trip--leaving tomorrow morning early, two full days in Dublin with my old college friend Allison--I am happy to get away (finally, a vacation!) but I feel bad leaving my husband and his family, even if it's just for a weekend. My heart always turns in knots like this right before any trip, but this one is particularly difficult.

So this evening, worrying about my to-do list and my pay check and my train-change in Rome, I left the office at the private English school where I do lessons and I headed out the front door. It looked like it was raining, so I reached to open my umbrella, but it turned out I didn't need it. The day was beautiful--amazing really--bathed in gold from a fresh new sunlight, the kind that comes out after a particularly heavy rain spell. The city looked polished and clean, storefronts freshly painted, ancient stone buildings restored to glory. Everything was more visible now, and it seemed as if this rain had come simply to wash away cobwebs and mist, bringing the day back to life. Even now, at the end of it.

I began walking home, looking around me at Macerata as I had never seen her before. I thought of the days to come, this trip to Ireland to gather up luck and bring it back home, and I felt a little bit more hopeful. The warmth of an early spring evening breathed in the air, and the sun stayed in the sky just a little longer tonight.


P.S. Happy Early Birthday to Corrie!!! I won't be here to post this weekend, but I thought I'd wish her 'auguri' early!