Perched like a hawk on untamed solid rock, shedding a waterfall of slanting red roofs, clinging to the peak, sloping down toward the valley, pinched by two deep ravines, majestically crowned by high snow-covered mountains, my village shines.
And the night that I was born within your cozy walls, you happily heard my first cry blend with the hissing of the cold northern wind roaring noisily at every turn, the strong wind running through the village’s narrow labyrinthine streets and over the smoking village fireplaces. The defiant northern wind went crazy, pulling, jerking, yanking around in a square and, before long, playfully kicking and choking a chimney here and there. The untamable northern patrolling wind dispersed my cry over smoking village fireplaces.
And when it rained, swelling torrents ran wild, precipitous waters raced downhill, skipping boulders, kicking pebbles at every turn, roaring waters foaming with rage, reaching the serpentine river crossing the valley, the now tired waters slowed, leisurely running continuously undisturbed toward the distant out-of-sight sea.
And you lead my first steps and gave space to my playing and enjoyment during my childhood on your long stone stairways, mostly narrow, sometimes wider, at times tortuous. A tissue of stairs embroidered among the houses, with their concealed courtyards holding enchanted scented gardens.
And you became the custodian of my youth. Years went by, my body grew older and you remained always the same clinging to that peak, watching the fertile green valley below, from your balconies, from your roofs, from your squares, from your bell towers, you, guarding the magnificent beauty of the landscape below.
And you witnessed the adventure of my first love. Our first kiss, in the tall grass by the weeping tree brushing the clear waters of the pond below, and the wind whispering “love, love, love,” what a striking moment, embraced, in trepidation.
And beloved village, you saw me leaving, after the earthquake. And for me and you time stopped. And I had to go, I know you couldn’t understand. I gave you back my childhood and youth, the myth of my past and everything born within your walls.
Carrying a shabby suitcase, I descended your disfigured narrow stairways slowly, avoiding the piles of rubble, with tears in my eyes, going down toward the train station.
And before the train left, I looked up, at you. From afar your earthquake wounds did not show, you seemed whole, and your ancient stones spoke words inaudible to my ears and, in that sunny day, I saw graceful evanescent clouds wreathing your peak.
I briskly grasped and placed into my bosom the memories of your quietness, your peace, the rushing of your torrential waters, the lament of your cold northern wind. In my somnolent dreams, I heard whispers of my childhood’s tireless footsteps pacing day and night, up and down, down and up, treading on you endlessly, in the silence of your stonecarved enduring streets.
And today, when I dare to re-open the book of my remembrances, with its worn-out yellowed pages, a strong desire takes hold of me, I wish I could still be there with you.
Yes, I promised, I promise, one day I will be back, I will return to you. I know I said it before. This is the cry of my deceived soul. Let my lethargic memories speak, while you continue to abduct my thoughts.
Yes, dear village, one day, I promise I will return for you, for your quietness, your turbulent torrents, your labyrinthine streets, your red roofed houses, your swallows’ nests, your soaring mountains… Maybe, one day… Yes, I promise, one day… I will return.