In Italian it means, "let's cross over." People in Italia say it to each other as they are crossing over to the other side of the street while on their Sunday afternoon “passeggiata” (walk). Attraversiamo. For some reason this word and its meaning has settled into my heart. The idea of “crossing over” as of late, has a deeper meaning for me, as in changing your location, your direction, your state of mind. Experiencing a minor health issue that has taken away my ability to maintain my usual break-neck hiking speed, has given me pause for reflection. And spending time healing, in part lying on flat on my back for the past weeks, has given me plenty of time to re-read my favorite books and return to my nuggets of truth to live by. My personal favorite Eat, Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, reminded me of the way the Italians embody the concept of “dolce far niente” which means the sweetness of doing nothing. This is a difficult concept for me as it is I imagine for most Americans. But leave it to the Italians to embody balancing the sweetness of exercise and conversation. You see on Sunday evenings, after a long sumptuous lingering lunch, the Italians share in the ritual of “passeggiatta” which is an evening walk and conversation with friends and family through the main streets of the town or lungomare, where they "attraversiamo" back and forth across the piazzas to press out the the last coveted drops of their Sunday afternoon.
To that end, I am determined to find a similar balance, in this group. This is a huge leap of faith and a change in the premise of our group. I will be planning Sunday afternoon walks at a good comfortable walking pace combined with conversation (and perhaps followed by a late afternoon glass of wine and snack) to cap off the weekend. This, will be our American version of the passeggiatta. Our venues will alternate between local parks, gardens, downtown areas starting early afternoon on Sundays ending at a cafe for optional coffee, tea, wine and snack.
Of course this is a big leap of faith and change for this very active and robust group of hikers. I suspect some may prefer to continue to have more grueling hiking activities for which many other wonderful hike groups will gladly accommodate. La vita e questa. Nienta e facile e nulla e impossible; meaning: This is life. Nothing is easy and nothing is impossible. Hope to see you on a Sunday Passeggiatta soon!