I will never forget how I felt the day after our wedding. I remember people were trying to show me photographs they had taken and share stories from the day, and I just wanted to hold it silently in my heart for a second longer. It was as if words and pictures may somehow color my memories for me, and I just wanted to fully develop them in my mind before I saw them through the experience of others. I had a similar impulse on our trip to the Amalfi Coast last week. I could not look down for a moment to write anything and if I did, words were insufficient to describe the experience.
We were quiet on our way home from our five-day trip. It was as if we were developing each frame in our own memory before attempting to communicate what the time meant to us individually. Eventually, after looking at the photos over the weekend, and sharing things that stood our for each of us, our story is now a collection, but our recollections are our own.
We visited Sorrento, Amalfi, and Ravello and we fell in love with Positano. It is a harrowing drive with a snaking highway and a sun-bleached town that is steeped between endless cliffs. It was not love at first sight. There were over 800 aging, crumbling steps between our room and the beach. Streets stopped and started without warning and directional arrows were only sometimes accurate. The beaches were rocky and the locals well versed in American pricing, and we were head of heels in love! Positano lured us in, one majestic moment at a time. Once we arrived at the bottom of the 800 steps, we were blinded by the clarity of the lapis blue water no longer masked by the smoky haze from above. Looking up, the cliffs seemed to touch the clouds as they magnified the seagulls cry and roosters chorus. The pebbles tumbling in the tide were beach chair lullabies for the most reluctant sun worshipers.
At sunset, Positano was truly radiant. The lights came on slowly and lazily as the antique street lamps cast a buttery glow over the cobblestones. It looked like every calendar cover I have ever seen of Italy and yet it was impossible to believe that it was real. Just when I thought it could not get any more serene, the apple wood burning perfumed the air, and the hibiscus that had basked in the sunlight all day, was luminescent.
I still feel as though words are not sufficient to describe such a place. I am so grateful for experiences that stun me into silence, places where looking down at a book or a blog would be a betrayal of the beauty that calls for a sacred sort of quiet.