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swirl and savor

La Mattina in Positano

Beth Ribblett

Being an early riser is both a blessing and a curse that I inherited from my somewhat compulsive parents. It's an annoyance when I'm at home and feel compelled to sit in front of my computer and work but an absolute joy to me when on vacation. While most people are excited about having extra time to sleep away the stresses of home, for me it's the perfect time to bask in quietness of a place and watch as a new day stirs into motion.

Today is one such morning as I awake at 4:30 to the sounds of a few tourists continuing to enjoy a very late night. Spending the next half an hour trying to will myself back to sleep, I lie listening and literally hear the tempo of the town begin to change from nighttime revelry to morning calm. 5am approaches and the light slowly begins to brighten outside our bedroom window as the sun creeps up from behind the Latari mountains. If feel the tug of the early dawn as the rhythm changes from night to day and I can’t help but get up and witness the transformation.

Coffee now in hand, I sit on the lovely terrace taking in the scene as the town readies itself for the day. Positano hangs on to rocky cliffs surrounding a small valley with pastel colored shops, restaurants and villas nestled inside and the Bay of Salerno lapping its shore line. I close my eyes, tuning my senses to the sounds echoing off the cliffs and wafting up to my perch above.  Roosters crowing in the distance, rolling gentle waves, the setting of tables in the cafes, vespas zipping down the main street, brooms sweeping the cobbled walkways - and by the time the bells of Santa Maria Assunta ring at 7am, I open my eyes to view the brightly colored umbrellas going up on the beach as the jewel of the Amalfi Coast awaits the summer masses.

Completely unaware of the beautiful spectacle that has transpired over the last few hours, others are finally stirring in the villa.  But as for me, currently feeling blessed by my inherited internal alarm clock, I am already completely and utterly content and even can't imagine what other joys await...

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