Slow Active Tours
Southern Italy experience
Nature, emotion & art
The clear and evident ringing is what announces the lowering of barriers in opaque red and white stripes of an old rail crossing.
A woman not far, at the tollbooth, turns the crank that operates the mechanism. She looks at me and greets; a long and white housecoat lets glimpse her big breasts. I greet with a wave of the hand and I open my lips looking away to not be indiscreet; in front of me the street continues through the olive trees.
I stop one step away from the barriers, I look at the binaries, first to the right and then to the left, the silence of the countryside is broken by the chirping of some birds that flutter among the fields.
The sun goes down and the wind seems to follow him into his rest.
I abandon the idea of crossing the barriers furtively and imprudently and I rest my elbows on the handlebars, my legs are straight and firm to the ground, I raise my ears and reactivate my senses, I stop the time leaving the thoughts carry me away.
Memories resurface nicely to my mind: I can see myself beside my grandfather, in his Fiat Seicento waiting for the passage of the train; I can hear the Sant' Antonio’s fireworks echoing in the afternoon among the fields of yellow and green grass; summer bike rides toward the point which marks the end of the world, where we can’t go over because of the obscurity, tobacco stretched out to dry through the streets of the periphery; the chairs on the edge of the sidewalk where it was usually to spend the hot and long summer nights; stories of my grandfather on the veranda, always the same pleasant from which I never subtracted; the songs of youth, beside a blazing and crackling fireplace…
The woman shows again, the train with one wagon comes from the right and tired continues away. The barriers goes up; I take the pedals and I keep on my journey, feeling myself more alive than before.