Friday, March 29, 2013

Buon Pasqua

I see Anna coming through the front gate, holding a paper plate covered with aluminium and a bottle of home made wine held tightly in her other hand. Dear Anna, and Vincenzo too, our neighbors here at 4 Fitzgibbon, hard working people who made a new life here in Melbourne but who carry marks of heart longing. For Anna, her parents so long dead back in the homeland of Calabria, still call to her, and her four brothers whom she would welcome every morning to her kitchen table if she could, with her  wood fired oven baked bread and all the love in her heart. Giovana, she says to me as we talk on the verandah--she is frightened of Cello--here, yes, have dish washer, have laundry machine, but my familia, always close, most important thing, I miss them all, Giovana, she says. Here, bottle of wine for you and Dianne, Vincenzo made it, his birthday yesterday. Quanti anni fa, I ask. Setenta seis, she says. Me--she points to her self, setenta tre, and we laugh, all of us in our seventies. I am already thinking of the tie we will get for Vincenzo to rest upon his sun burned chest. I have come to know not only their dear voices but their bodies, Ann's determination captured in the strength of walking she does every day, in her hands that I see resting on the fence, or flowing with meaning as she tells all she wants from life is for every one to be happy, no trouble, no trouble, Giovanna. I feel their histories, I hear their histories. "How is Dianne?" Anna will always end the conversation  with. "She ok?" I laugh and say always, "she is working, lavorando, always working." We both laugh in relief that those we love are alive in the world with something moving in their hands, some work that says, sun still shines on me, rain still falls, I am alive, growing with the things of life. Vincenzo crushing the grapes in his garage, Anna molding the pasta dough in her cooking shed, Dianne cutting the lemon tree prunings into smaller bits for our green bin, and I working with the words that cling to me, the need to mark the grace of these offerings to life. In our longings for the far away, we move closer together.

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