Pitter pat comes the rain, belltower clang. The week’s first cool breeze sweeps in my door, spins through la cucina and out my kitchen window. Splattery splat, pitter pat, teeny tabby cat leaps on my neighbor’s stone wall to peer in.

Sonorous laughter, gli amici parlono italiano at the base of the stairs outside my door. Allora, magari, secondo me; loro mangiono insieme – uno, due, tre. Speaking of Civita’s hush and the quickening breeze, they squat at makeshift tables to eat picnic fare while noisy bambini play streets away in the square.

A distant bird’s cry arouses the cat, her searching mewl reaches my ears like a tortured violin, twisting and contorting its strings. Breeze rustles her fur as she mewls on the wall, blinking back at me as the rain dabs her nose, pitter splat. As I near, she starts, then stops cold–too curious to flee.

Pitter splat, pitter splat, harder and faster the rain. Wind begins to pick up and gusts in again. Wood shutters clatter, the inner doors sucked close with a slam. Piano, piano, tendril aromas of oven fires tickle my nose and catch alight my desire: che il tempo per il pranzo – time to eat lunch.

Splat, pat, pitter splat, away scampers the cat, leaving me da solo nella cucina–no one to stare at. Leaves fall heavy from the dampening rain while rolling thunder echoes in booming refrain. I stand a moment, awaiting her leaping return, but I’m met only by raindrops on terracotta pots and empty stone walls as my hunger stands facing me there.

(For a sketch of my kitchen view, http://www.twitter.com/CivitaVeritas)