First Morning in Paradise

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I wrote this our first morning here, but as we didn’t have Internet right away, I am posting it now.

 

Nick and I wake at about 3am – jetlag, my least favourite thing about travelling.  I try to sleep, toss and turn, try reading, try making up Italian sentences in my head that I might be able to use later.  Finally just before 5, Nick and I give up on sleep and rise and dress and climb the stairs to the kitchen. 

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Nick and I prepare our breakfast with food that our kind neighbours had given us the night before – soft Italian brioche, a chunk of salami cut off a long ring, and plums.  Sitting on our terrazza we watch the sky change from rose to sand to azure.  The ancient stone buildings reflect the pink and sand colours from the sky and rising sun.  They glow with this rich Mediterranean morning light.  The buildings are a cacophony of angles.  An artist would scream with frustration at the different directions of perspective that each of the buildings provide. 

Above our heads swallows have taken to the sky.  Thousands of them.  The air rings with their cries and they swoop so close to us that if I stood at our railing and held out my arms I could touch them.

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I take a bite of my plum.  The skin yields to my teeth and I can suck all the juice from the inside.  Oh such sweetness!  Only the skin holds a slight sour flavour making the juice taste even sweeter.  It tastes of the orange hills and green orchards we can see from our terrazza.

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The clock tower strikes 6am.  We hear people stirring.  A car starts, the nonna across the way steps out onto her small terrazza to view the morning and to bring in the mop to start her daily cleaning, voices carry through the clear air.  Our friend Joe says of Sicily “it is an island of sanity in a world going mad”.  How can I add to that?

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