We are on this road that weaves and winds through countryside, a kind of shorthand in scribbles that leads us back to Macerata. It is half past eight now, in the evening, and here the sun is still on her high horse, looking down at us with a kind of grand sense of owning this entire summer, every day of it. She does. It is all hers, as much as she wants it. The summer is thick here, slinking through the hills, showing off her wares in jewel box fields full of sunflowers as far as the eye can see. The shade that comes in the morning — that sharp contrast between sun and shadows — is nowhere to be seen now, so all of the imperfections of these country roads (asphalt covered in patches, cracks and bumps) appear soft in the evening light, in that right-before-sunset feel that tickles us with its warm breath of wind. 

Sunflowers. Happy 4th of July!

I love this drive. I’d forgotten about it entirely. I’d forgotten about the way it feels to jump into the Adriatic sea and then climb back into the car (toes covered in sand) and drive this, with the windows open if we want (or the cool blast of air conditioner that we only find in the car — our house is fuelled with carefully positioned fans that we sit in front of and wait for evening to fall), down hills, through valleys, past the soft shrubs of summertime, the trees whose bright leaves catch the light, those fields again, a peekaboo of a golden sunflower field, all of the flowers leaning inward, looking for the sun, wherever she may be. We stop on that road, right before the view of Macerata (our medieval city perched high on her hill, proudly surviving another sun choked day), before the asphalt turns to gravel, before potholes mar the road that shimmies back home.

I ask Antonello to stop so that I can take a photo of those same sunflowers. He stops the car — pulls over onto the side of the road. I cross the road in a hurry, over to the view that leads down to the valley, to the town of Sambucheto that is tiny from up here, to a land that is stitched together in summer’s wrinkled tapestry, to the other hill towns that crumble on their very own hills in the distance. The sunflowers are all around, everywhere. They are crowned in light, filling the field like the sea we just came back from — covering every spot. They are drinking up the summer, bingeing on the sunlight, sipping on the gold of the evening till there’s nothing left. I stand there for a moment in awe. The summer is ours, too. All that’s left of July still waiting for us right here. And now a rose colored sunset — the shape of fireworks, the bittersweet of every homesick day — spreads out before us, aching for the soft sounds of night to finally take hold.

Happy 4th of July!

Today I’m listening to: Can’t Do Much by Waxahatchee.

Published by Jackie in Italy

I'm living in Le Marche Italy. It's 2020 and we're all on lockdown (update: still blogging even though lockdown is over). Welcome to my blog.

6 thoughts on “July

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