The sound of Italian fills my ears as I stand, tired and sweaty. The number 23 bus is too crowded, and somewhere nearby there is a baby crying. I look behind me and see the tear-streaked face of a little girl, whose dark skin and dark eyes reflect my own. Her hair is artistically decorated with many colourful bands, separating her carefully combed hair. Even as her mother hands to her a small bottle to help calm her nerves, the little girl’s eyes glance around at the many strangers, who tower above her–How scary we must all seem.
In whispered and loudly spoken words, those who speak Italian say of the little girl, “Che bella…” and “Che carina…” Her mother is busy speaking on the phone and does not seem to notice the admiration that her little one has inspired. I am made to smile in the moment, because I can see that those around me are trying in their own way to show appreciation for diversity in beauty.
The elderly gentleman next to me leans over the little girl and tries to ease her worries, speaking to her in Italian as I have not experienced it before. His voice is soothing and kind with a rich tone that makes every word that he speaks that much more exquisite.
“Non si preoccupi…non si preoccupi…non si preoccupi..”
The little girl’s eyes stare at him with wonder as the corner of her lips curve into a smile.
Until Next Time.