The idea of creating a series of special MOMENTS that took place over
the last three months came to me when I suddenly realised that despite or
because of the menacing threat of Covid-19 in our midst as well as the worry of its economic impact throughout the world, I had – surprisingly -
experienced a number of ‘moments’ that were so beautiful and precious that I
will never forget them.
I guessed that others might have similar tales to share and so the series was borne.
MOMENT No.1 was finally getting the family – in the UK and Italy - up on
Zoom and Skype.
Talking my 86 year old father in the UK, through the installation of
Skype, was no small feat, but fortunately, I had just been talked through the
setting up of Zoom by my 14 year old granddaughter in Perugia. Suffice it to say we got there in the end
(but it took us 24 hours!)
With my sister extending the invites in the UK and my granddaughter setting
up the invites in Perugia, we suddenly all had a way to make visible contact.
I can’t easily describe the first session with my parents and sister:
relief at seeing them looking so well, joy at chatting with them face to face,
pain at being separated from them; a jumble of emotions so strong that it took
all of my efforts not to burst into tears and set everyone else off.
Likewise the first dinner-date we set up with my husband’s children and
grandchildren in both Rome and Perugia. The
evening we all sat down to dinner together was, for me, a very emotional moment. It was weird, but it was truly wonderful!
MOMENT NO. 2 has to be the saving and returning to the skies of a downed
swallow. From their arrival in spring, I spent many a lockdown morning up
before dawn watching them joyously swoop and shriek in the skies.
Swallows are very graceful birds while in flight, but because of their
large wing span and short legs they cannot, like other birds, take off from the
ground. Should they crash land, they are very vulnerable and easy prey.
So it was with great consternation that I saw a young swallow tumble
from the sky and fall quite literally into the paws of my dog, to whom I yelled
a very firm “lascia” (meaning leave). For once in her young life, she did just
The swallow was a bit knocked out, obviously terrified, but otherwise
appeared unhurt. After about 10 minutes of clinging to me as she re-orientated
herself, she suddenly launched from my hand and swooped back up into the sky, immediately
joined by a group of her peers all crying in unison….as if happy to have her
back again, among themselves.
MOMENT NO.3 has to be the post-lockdown visit from my step-daughter with
her daughter. We live in the mountains
above Cortona surrounded by woodland and its associated flora and fauna
including two dogs, three cats, two hens, a fountain and pond with goldfish and
endless croaking frogs.
After 3 months more or less confined to Cortona town, my grand-daughter was
a joy to watch, as she got blissfully wetter and wetter splashing around in the
fountain (despite her mother’s pleas for her to stay dry) and dirtier and
dirtier as she romped with the two dogs (who more or less dwarf her), but what
struck me most were her constant happy shrieks of: “Qui è un paradiso!” .
It is indeed a child’s paradise up here, but what touched me to the core
is that it was an ecstatic seven year old, running free for the first time in
months with her beloved dogs, who was making that assertion.