Bella Notte

February 27, 2010
By , Newton, MA
The honeyed Italian sky is shattered with the remnants of sun. Shards of the evening sun guild foreigners through the deep forest. A creek sings the songs of cheerful Italian women to bowing grasses and lazy ferns. The cloaked night approaches. As stars begin to dapple the sky, the moon makes her nocturnal début. Three guests bask in the inveiglement of the rich nighttime hues. A father’s strength binds them, clasped to motherly, confident elegance, with juvenile anticipation in tow. Ushered by the illumination of their hosts, they take their places in the midst of the fantastical magic of the night.

The are hardly ambrosia in trivial speech: overgrown grasses, ferns parted with the weight of their drooping ferns, and illuminating beetles. I am the first to confess my elementary reaction to even the most timid spider, or innocent gnat. But when they are placed in formulated disarray--as they were that night--it never once occurred to me that society would shudder at my full embodiment of their jubilee. The tangling grasses didn’t bother me the way they would have if they were the simple grasses of England clawing at my dress and tickling my legs. My parents’ private words regarding our destination would usually stir fear of a doctor’s visit of a secret too mature for my six-year-old ears. However, that night’s presentiment replaced alarm in my fearful mind.

The pulchritude of that night is something that has stayed with me for nine years, in the same exuberance that it actually occurred. in comparison to the other places in Italy I experienced, there was nothing “special” about a shallow creek and a few bugs. I have often wondered to myself why that is my strongest memory. I played with the idea of the dreamlike nature of the night, or perhaps that it was my first time seeing a lightning bug. I have settled on the idea that it was the people, not the place that garnered the image of beauty into my subconscious.

Shortly after our holiday in Italy, my parents got divorced. My last memories of pure happiness; memories undiluted by bitter undertones of angry sarcasm, were at that creek. My mother’s exquisite fortitude and my father’s herculean demeanor wound us together like the vines of the reaching tree branches We became separated from of constellation of fireflies, from nightly galas of unified dinners and intertwined stories.

The love I felt radiating from my mother, never once polluted with ignorance or hate, holds more value than anything else I have experienced. Her selfless choices and compassion encompassed the world and illuminated everyone around her, much like the light of the fireflies. I can imagine her weightless, and somewhat childlike mind, dancing along the nonlinear path the fireflies followed to encircle the world.

My father’s protective stance seemed untouchable. With the hard face of a loving safeguard, he seemed as unmoving as the trees that stood in their places for hundreds of years. There was something in his eyes thought, a liveliness of sorts that declared his happiness. I saw the familiar teasing tone and honest love in the corner of his mouth.

The warm, yellow atmosphere of that night has been my standard of splendor ever since. The organic nature of the evening wound together every element of perfection. My family effortlessly coexisted within our somewhat blurred lines of tolerance. The harmony of the lightning bugs mirrored our tender looks that compromised our routine impatience. Maybe it was something in the flushed spring air, or perhaps just a coincidence of time and space, but the unrefined love I felt was more than a passing breeze.

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This article has 9 comments. Post your own now!

teenwriter said...
Mar. 7, 2010 at 12:30 pm
Such a beautiful, unsentimental memory. I love the description of your mom and how you use the fireflies as a metaphor.
dramakat replied...
Mar. 7, 2010 at 12:59 pm
Thank you so much!
princesslindsey said...
Mar. 5, 2010 at 11:21 am
i absoultly love this this article, wonderfull job! i especially like the part about the moon making it's 'nocturnal début' :)
dramakat replied...
Mar. 5, 2010 at 4:29 pm
Thank you!
princesslindsey replied...
Mar. 8, 2010 at 9:10 pm
your welcome! =)
lola marie sunshine said...
Mar. 5, 2010 at 11:02 am
this is amazing, excelent job to this brilliant author in jax. i commend your use of economic and sensory words.
dramakat replied...
Mar. 5, 2010 at 4:28 pm
Thank you so much!
samandlucy said...
Mar. 4, 2010 at 7:35 pm
Poignant and haunting. A coming of age, ready or not
dramakat replied...
Mar. 5, 2010 at 4:29 pm
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