The wet forehead, the half-closed eyes, the chest thrust forward, and the tips of the worn-out shoes that mark the asphalt.
The effort that fills the body mixed with the desire to move forward, to reach the finish line before the others. The sensation of the wind against the face, the hands that cut the air, the freedom that is felt in wanting to defeat time.
Since our childhood our only goal has been to run, we run to come into the light, we run once we are able to stay on our feet, then we run through own education, towards adulthood.
But we are not the only ones to run, even the weather does it, and it’s terribly fast so much that sometimes it escapes us.
Like an athlete and like time, however, even the waters of our territory run and the river Liri has run here for an eternity.
It too has a goal: to flow into the sea, but to reach every goal it takes effort and the road ahead is long, though not always unpleasant. If the Liri could talk, tell, it would surely tell us about everything seen in these years during its continuous run.
It would talk about every person seen walking along its banks, it would talk about the bombs that it saw falling over the cities and villages it crosses, or even times when it saw whole houses collapse along its banks due to earthquakes.
The Liri would also remind us, however, of the irrepressible will of the people who strengthened themselves and went forward after every difficulty. It would be nice to know, how many have held hands and watched its waters in wonder while walking beside it.
Every couple in love, sitting on the benches with their faces toward the river, how many loves will it have seen born, and for how many has the cause been the landscape of the Liri.
It would also have something to complain about, however, with regret, in fact, it would point out how much more polluted now are its waters and its banks than once they were.
It still has a clear memory of a smaller town, without factories and discharges, and of children who were less selfish and more careful not to throw paper on the ground or in the water.
It would be nice to hear, of every storm that brought the waters of the Liri to overflowing or almost, of every sunny day when mothers took advantage to let their children walk along the banks. It will surely have seen so many grow, return to its banks, day after day, no longer the same.
How much joy our river has felt, in always seeing new people and how sad to see others not come back. The Liri, running, must reach its goal.
Everyone of us, in life, we realize we have a goal, and to achieve it we cannot help but run, run towards it until the end. Children run towards adulthood, each student runs towards a better future, a patient runs towards healing, science runs towards new solutions, time runs, until eternity.
Each goal represents a very specific purpose and the one in question, of vital importance for our river, is that, still clean, it reaches the sea.
The Liri would surely be happy to tell of every single athlete who runs his race along its shores. It would love to run with them because while they have different goals, they also have the same goal.
The sea appears far away, the blue Mediterranean awaits the “green” Liri to reach its goal. The faces, the voices and the stories of the towns that it has crossed are immersed in the waters of the dear river that, proceeding proudly, accompanies the certain steps of the athletes running along its banks.
At the finish the green is tinged with blue until it assumes the cobalt tones of a single splendour.
The Liri has reached its goal, to carry to the mouth, and towards the infinite, the dreams and desires of all those whose lives run among its waters.