I am sat on a mountain in Italy, surrounded by stunning views and Italian homes. People are riding up and down the mountainside on mopeds, speeding along the quiet country lanes, swerving round bends. Our rental apartment has panoramic views of Lake Garda and the mountains beyond, to the back of the property we have more mountains. I am almost on top of the world.
Yet I feel scared.
It’s rare that I feel this overwhelming sense of panic, of fear, that where I am is not comfortable. It’s difficult to explain. It’s not that I’m scared of being this high up, altitude doesn’t bother me, as long as I feel like I’m not sat on the edge of a cliff face. Nor am I scared of being in the middle of nowhere, as long as I have a means of going somewhere less sparse.
I suppose the thing that bothers me is how long it took us to drive up the hill, how hard we had to push the hire car, and how windy the streets are.
I hold within me a fear of not being able to get home. I don’t know where it came from, or how long it’s been there (except that it’s been there a long time), and that is how I feel up this beautiful mountain.
I’m scared that the car we are using is not powerful enough to handle going up and down this hill more than once a day, or even that, (which means we either stay up, or we stay down). I’m scared that we will not be able to find our way “home” in the dark. I’m scared of going down (that is where height definitely comes in) because we’ve yet to do that for the first time.
A few years ago in rural France, we went out for a walk one day and got lost on our way home. I was stood on a darkened, rural, French street at night, with no street lights, with houses shuttered up, feeling like I was going to be there all night. We couldn’t call a taxi because we didn’t have a number (or know where we were). We couldn’t ask somewhere where the house was, because we didn’t really know that either. We walked until nearly midnight (after setting off at around 7/8pm) and we finally found “our house” and it was the biggest relief. Fearing we would never find our way home is something I will never forget it.
What I feel today is something I hope will pass. We may be able to get a different hire car, if the company allow us to trade it in, and maybe that will help. I just hope that this weight sitting on my chest doesn’t stay there for the whole week. We are in a beautiful place, surrounded by natures greatest gifts, and I don’t want to waste it.
Update: we found a much less dramatic way up and down the mountainside, so I’m feeling a lot calmer about it.
Here are some photos of the area:
(The mountain behind the apartment.)
(The lake view from the apartment.)
(The mountain we’re staying on from below, we think we’re near the light coloured smudge next to the tall tree.)