Italians celebrate the Monday after Easter with almost more enthusiasm than Easter itself. Also called Pasquetta, the Monday of Easter (Lunedi di Pasqua) is often a more relaxed sort of gathering and generally held outside. I could’ve completely foregone Sunday lunch at the packed little restaurant we ended up eating at with 12 members of my husband’s family. The food was overpriced and the service was incredibly slow. How they planned to serve a full house with only two waiters in any kind of orderly fashion is beyond me. The entire time we spent there was more of a hassle than a pleasure so after 3 hours of being there and still not having been served our entire meal, we left. My little girl can handle restaurants pretty well but that amount of time is really pushing the limits of a toddler’s patience.
I woke up today (Pasquetta) hoping for good times and that’s exactly what I got. And even though the day wasn’t sunny, I was. We’d planned to go to a lake about and hour away for a picnic and we were almost rained out but we were determined to get there and at least check out the area before calling the whole thing off. Turned out to be one of the best times I’ve had in months. There were a few sprinkles when we first arrived but not enough to keep us in the car. We unpacked our lunch and games and joined the other people who had decided to brave the conditions in the name of springtime fun. After eating we went on a long walk through the woods on a path made of slim wooden planks. It twisted its way through the trees and along a serene blue-green lake that mirrored the opposite shore beautifully. Oh my little one nearly lost her mind with excitement, a smile wide as her little face would stretch plastered in place the entire time. She danced, she sang, she called back to the frogs. She was in heaven. Nature has a way of affecting most people in a very meaningful way. I, myself, find a peacefulness not duplicated anywhere else when I’m in a natural setting. The path we took led to clearing in the forest where we found a few large groups of people in their 20’s and 30’s, cooking, playing soccer and listening to loud music. Perfect! We set up shop there for awhile, blowing bubbles and running in circles after my little monkey. By this time the rain had stopped completely and we were just soaking up the atmosphere. Afterwards we went to the lake’s shore where we threw a few pinecones and chased down other little kids my baby wanted to give kisses to. She’s a sucker for the youngsters.
On the way home she slept and the rest of us talked about what a perfect day it was. I’ll always remember today, the look on my baby’s face as she ran free in the wilderness, the tranquility. It was lovely. I want to go back as soon as we can.