08 March 2013

Where I Live

I'm from the town at the top of the hill
in a far away province of Italy,
a medieval town with ancient stones lining the streets
holding the traces of footsteps for a thousand years
reminding me of my place in the scheme of things-
one of them, humans together, trying to walk straight on crooked paths;
small alleys off the main street echo summers of shouts, out the windows,
down the lanes, while cooking smells waft overhead and people gather on stoops,
stairs, squares always urgent with the need to connect.

I'm from where Dolorata calls from her stand on market day: "Bella! Come stai?",
where Gianni parks his van with fresh fish every Wednesday and Friday and kisses
me and my husband on both cheeks and marvels that our names are John and Mary
and he's Gianni and his wife is Maria and we're from different countries
and aren't we lucky to have met and live here now? I'm from where I can see
the Apennine mountains around three sides of town while the Adriatic hugs the fourth,
where traditions are handed down like cherished family recipes, all meant to nourish,
where transitory has to do with crops and existential struggle describes weather
as friend or foe of the agriculture that sustains our region, its olives and grapes,
dirt and rain, trees and vines cut back after last season to grow again in this one
and be reaped to feed us all and slake our thirst.

I'm from where art and architecture generations old are held as humanity's treasures,
where people greet children with smiles and hugs and swing them gaily around,
hold them, too, as humanity's treasures; where yearly festas celebrate every saint,
crop, flower or historical accomplishment of our region to encode children's memories
in celebration. I've thrown in my lot with these folks in this town to live, to learn,
to expand my definition of where I'm from.











This is in response to Pamela Sayers request at dVerse Poets Pub to write about the places we live.

28 comments:

  1. What a wonderful life you have with beautiful surroundings and oh my, the history...you describe it so well here..thanks for sharing..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a beautiful part of the world that gives me so much- glad to share it.

      Delete
  2. Wow, each of these photos shows a glorious scene; the colorful array of fruit and veg is like a colorful painting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We have a farmer's market twice a week with the vegies and fruits of the area (and fresh fish from the Adriatic). That was a photo from Bologna as our market is more rustic.

      Delete
  3. oh very cool...love the coincidence with the names...so nice...and so lovely how friendly the people seem to be... i was in tuscany a bit ago and really loved the atmosphere and the people i met

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tuscany is gorgeous. We're off the beaten track in a non-tourist area iwth its own beauty. And, you're right, the people in our province are freindly and hospitable.

      Delete
  4. so very cool...i love that you know the people in the market...that whole middle section...i love it...and expanding your definition of where you are from as well...lots of great little touches in this...would love to visit...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was away for almost two months in the winter and had such warm, wonderful greetings from folks in the market. It was dear! I like that this experience is growing me in new ways, expanding me. As for a visit- come! We have a guest room and love visitors...

      Delete
  5. "trying to walk straight on crooked paths" - Aren't we all. I like that. Makes me want to visit the land and the people.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We are indeed, and we help each other. Do visit- it's a lovely land with wonderful people.

      Delete
  6. What a completely glorious place to live - perfect opening line - K

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've added a photo to show how true that line is!

      Delete
  7. And how could you resist living in a place like that? I too loved that opening line - which could equally well be the opening line of a novel as well as a poem.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Que bella cosa! One of my dreams was to go visit my dad's family in Piedmont. When I first saw your photos I thought "California" and they are similar, aren't they? A wonderful lifestyle you live.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do visit- especially if you have family from here. You'll be welcomed with open arms, a great feast and lots of double kisses. I lived in Northern California and I find many similarities.

      Delete
  9. Though we live in different parts of the world, Mary, it is very familiar to me. It is the latino blood that makes Italians, Mexicans, and all of south america much more warm and friendly. You live in a beautiful part of Italy. Thanks for sharing.

    Pamela

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This was a great prompt. With my American/Celtic background, these four years have been a grand adventure that I treasure.

      Delete
  10. Replies
    1. Come visit, Rosaria. Meet Rosario who runs our favorite cafe in Paese, Rose Cafe, and al the other characters in our wonderful town. It would be an honor to host you.

      Delete
  11. love the warmth in this piece and the pics are great

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My heart is full, I live in warmth.

      Delete
  12. So nice. You make me want to visit ... but actually, now I feel as though I've already been there.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Just beautiful! The words, the pictures, the emotions. Thank you for the fabulous gift, Mary. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your welcome. We do that for each other.

      Delete
  14. You make it sound so wonderful!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, it wasn't the time to write about the mind-boggling bureaucracy and crazy drivers, but it's mostly wonderful!

      Delete

Let's chat.