I get out from my building and there is snow. Nobody had forecast this nor announced. Odd in a country where they tell you even at what time it is gonna start and finish, and they are never wrong. They tell your everything. So you can be prepared.
But then, it happens, all the sudden, and it feels like you are under a rain of happiness, even if you are tired because you had an heavy week on the top of other heavier weeks.
The "unexpected snow" is like happiness that, sometimes, is not warm like the sun or cool like the spring breeze or the hot wind that messes up your memories while you drive your Vespa, coming down from Posillipo*, in a summer "controra"*. The happiness of the snow is cold and if it slips along your neck, you get cold and if you don't pay attention you can slip and fall hitting your butt. Because the happiness of the snow is the most sincere and it is not for free; it is not only beautiful and warm but it hits you lightly and silently and reminds you, with every flake, its other side, the toughest: the unhappiness. Because in each happiness there is an inescapable unhappiness and you have to face that.
When people ask me if I am happy now, I say "yes" by instinct. But then I feel my feet wet and the flake that slipped in my neck is melting and I am cold. But still, it is true, I am happy. And may be that is the "secret. That is the only reason why I keep loving the snow and I keep looking for happiness, in a such intense way that can make me unhappy, sometimes.
And the happiness, at times, means loneliness. A loneliness that comes from the fact that I decided to walk on a winding path, solitary, where it is very easy to stumble, especially when you are in a rush because you feel that your time is no more enough as if you were twenty years old.
Two nights ago, after the press conference of the Italian Prime Minister, in the elevator, I was with few important journalists and few very young colleagues. One of these, ignoring all the others, introduced himself to me. I started to talk with him and when I told him the name of my publication he smiled and said "I already knew". Everybody looked at me wandering if I was someone famous. Someone powerful.
In that precise moment, I thought about my mom and dad and the fact that, even if with the pain of the distance, I always made them proud. And it was like it was snowing. And I forgot, in an instant, that I arrived there after a long day of running around trying to get what I need to survive, with my "nice shoes" that were killing my feet and a tote like the Mary Poppin's one, with inside everything you can need to face an emergency and arrive "decent" at the meeting with the Prime Minister of your country. And I forgot the arrogant disregard of my "colleagues" (most part of them). I forgot the payments for my job that didn't come through; the Sunday that I was going to spend working because those payments didn't come through. And I forgot the tiredness, the uncertainty, the difficulties.
There was a young colleague that wished to shake my hand. And then, may be, that meant that no matter when or how, I should have written something good, something that someone has liked. And writing is all my life. Here is my passion and my love. Here am I.
Five years ago, back in Italy, I was in hell. Because I was alone with my fears and I didn't have any forecast about a coming snow storm. And therefore, I was getting ready to go to look for it. Faraway. Really faraway. In a place where the snow arrives all the sudden, while you are going out with Dorothy and it feels like happiness.
*Posillipo, a neighborhood in Naples, located on the hill, where I used to live
*"controra" is a typical neapolitan word that indicates the hours of the early afternoon that especially during the summer are too hot to indulge in any activities.