Going around town in Italian villages is a journey into the past. Another time. Another way of life. Everything, from the narrow, cobblestoned streets to ancient buildings, speaks of times gone by. 

The ever-present waft of wood smoke, transporting the mind to slower days. When entire families gathered round the fire, chestnuts roasting and wine glasses toasting. Safe and secure, like squirrels in their winter’s nest.

But springtime awakens from winter, and sleepy towns begin to shake off their slumber.

And then the race is on to clean fields, homes, and gardens before the long hot days of summer. When farmers and their wives drop exhausted side by side, pleased over work well done, for the afternoon siesta. That ancient, enduring, and endearing custom of all Mediterranean lands.

Broom in hand, every walk gets swept. Every flower-filled window flung open, for the Pulizie di Pasqua (spring or Easter cleaning). The women scrubbing and polishing, as did their mothers and grandmothers before them, ever present head kerchiefs in place. Racing against the tomato harvest. When, with aching backs, they’ll stoop sweating over the outdoor cooking fire, stirring next year’s salsa (tomato sauce).

Time creeps slowly in the village, where life, for the most part, still holds to the rhythm and patterns of the seasons. And is savored in minute bites, enjoyed in leisurely days.

Yet summer, as everywhere, whizzes by.

Farmers trade hoes for harvest equipment. Olives shake from trees. Grapes fall into baskets, as mothers search wardrobes for sweaters. And children, donning the ever traditional smocks, traipse off to school with their pals. Leaving their grandparents, harking back in memory, to their own childhood days when they skipped along the same worn streets.

Never-changing scenes of antiquity. Like a long-running drama with new characters and props. Yet ever telling the same story. New faces and modern times, yet somehow unchanged.

Carts and buggies long since pushed into the past. Radios gather dust in attics. Jeans and Nikes® replace former garb. But the story, like a movie on constant replay, goes ever on.

Unchanging scenes that bring a certain reassurance. Modern day life — a picture in the making, woven together with the past, into one big tapestry.

Our streets, all around town, present the unending scene of enduring family life. Life as I think it should be.

Reminding us that although times change, many things, and often the more important, remain ever the same! Like family and friends. Warmth and camaraderie. Neighbors helping one another. A glad handshake, a friendly smile. Old folk gathered around warming fires, and children skipping off to school, as will their children after them.

These are things I’d like to see remain the same, forever. Or for as long as the sun keeps rising and setting.

Which things would you Keep? Which would you let go by the wayside?

[Images ©SheilaScorziello.com]

Posted by Sheila Scorziello

American born, Italian at heart. Happily married over 40 years, living in Italy almost 30. Mom of two and nonna to 9 grandkids. Missionary with a passion for showing God's love in practical ways, honoring God by caring for his creation, and helping others taste and see that the Lord is good!

9 Comments

  1. Loved this post 🙂 it’s important we don’t forget to live in the moment. I don’t mind the technology of today, though I’ve grown up around it, especially in my late teens. However, I think there’s a time and a place for everything. 🙂

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    1. Well TR, even though I grew up without technology I appreciate it too. Especially since it helps me stay in touch with my family, friends, and blogging community!! I just think that sometimes people forget that there is also such a thing as balance!

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      1. Yes, definitely 🙂

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  2. Sheila, Are you OK? Praying for Italy. Karen

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    1. Praying. Glad that you’re okay. Many blessings. Karen

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  3. I would do away with cell phones and many other techno gadgets. A standard phone indoors was fine. Keep with us more outdoor play for kids–and adults– that I used to enjoy in my hometown neighborhood–without those gadgets. Loved the post today. Pictures are always a plus!

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    1. Thanks for commenting, Sheila–makes sense, for sure. I have been praying for Italy’s ravaged areas since the earthquakes…

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  4. Memories would I keep. I’d clean out the bad ones however and redefine them as “learning experiences.” So even those wouldn’t be wasted. All material items become dust but memories could move with me, even to a beautiful location such as Italy. Blessings,

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