Midway upon the journey of our life
I found myself within a forest dark,
For the straightforward pathway had been lost.
Ah me! how hard a thing it is to say
What was this forest savage, rough, and stern,
Which in the very thought renews the fear.
So bitter is it, death is little more;
But of the good to treat, which there I found,
Speak will I of the other things I saw there
I cannot well repeat how there I entered,
So full was I of slumber at the moment
In which I had abandoned the true way.
First off, I made it safe to Rome. Over the past few days, we have been immersed into orientation activities along with a few trips to Rome in between. So far, it has been a lot of fun, even in spite of the jet lag. Sadly, each time I have gone out to Rome or to some bordering town, I have forgotten my camera. But pictures will be on their way once my friends post them on Facebook. When they do, I’ll post some of the good ones here.
Now, to explain the quote above. Last night, 8 of us went to a town called Albano which is about a 10 minute bus ride from campus. When we were done eating and hanging out, we waited at the bus stop for 40 minutes hoping a bus would come pick us up. I heard that the transportation system was poor but having to wait 40 minutes for a bus is plain ridiculous. So, thinking that no bus would come, we decided to walk back (about 11:00 p.m).
As soon as we began to make the trek back to campus, a fork in the road preceeded us. Not really knowing how we got to Albano, we decided to veer right. We walked, and we walked, and we walked. We were told the walk would only take around 30 minutes but an hour later, we were still nowhere near the campus. People were frustrated, annoyed, and tired as we had walked a few miles uphill in a nice steady drizzle that made us late for curfew.
At that point, a few of us thought that we figured out which way to go while the others were fed up and called a cab. Of course, me being a stubborn one, thought I had figured out the right way. So me and two others continued on the journey back to campus in the dark, cold, wet night. We walked, and we walked, and we walked—farther out of the way.
We ended up in the town of Marino around 12:45, a town 3ish miles from campus. As we stood at a foreign intersection to rest, we noticed we were right in front of a fire station. The firemen were hanging out in the window facing the street. We screamed and waved our hands like madmen hoping to get their attention. They noticed us and let us in. Thankfully one of them knew just enough English to give us directions to campus. They also made us some tasty espresso to boost our energy for the 3 mile walk to come.
On our way from Marino to campus, we walked along dark, residential roads. Dogs continually barked from inside the broken fences that “held” them in. At least one time it seemed as if a large dog was going to come roaring from the holes in the fence toward our tired bodies. Thankfully, no dogs attacked and no cars hit us as they whizzed by.
We finally made it safely back to campus at 1:20 AM, only a mere 2 hours and 20 minutes after we started the so called “30 minute” walk back.
While there was the definite frustration of being lost in a foreign place where it is a struggle to communicate with the locals, there was also some excitement and fun to the adventure of last night. Sometimes a little adventure (even if it is not intentional) can be good for the lost soul. Just ask Dante. Dante and I both decided not to stay on the easy path: for him the life of God and for me the bus or a cab. In our pride, we ended up lost only to be lead by our Virgils when we had no where else to turn. Eventually, we each make it to the ultimate and final destination of our journeys. His journey revealed the truth of God to him. But what did my adventure reveal me? Nothing really. I wouldn’t have changed a thing.