After a fine breakfast on the patio of the palazzo, I decide to abandon lunch plans for the other side of the lake at Tremezzo for a walk around the lakeside near where I have been for a week.
A grey day has its compensations. Walking, I hear the birds for the first time since my arrival. They obviously prefer the grey too! Out on the lake, ducks, a complete cacophony, but other birds with sweeter song call from the treetops.
Kids play on swings with usual gleeful chatter; and my stick (for balance on the uneven stony pathways), clicks loudly, rhythmically in time with my softer footsteps.
I am in a pensive mood as I remember my nephew and godson Michael, who died back in Australia last weekend at a young age. I regret not being at home with my immediate family for the farewell with a Requiem Mass at the home of Anne and Trevor.
Geese float serenely past, seemingly quite incapable of such loud honking; while at the same time others appear overhead in formation with a passing swoosh of flapping wings.
Out on the lake, one of those wonderful ‘Venice-style’ speedboats zooms past carrying lucky people to a luncheon rendezvous in a restaurant across the other side. The wake makes for little waves to lap and splash on the rocky shoreline.
Loud male voices emanate from the ‘Canottieri La Sportiva’ boat shed as they share the painting and polishing of their skiffs. Cleats from covered sailing boats moored at the little marina clang as the waves rock the boats.
What remains of the fragrance of ‘high-summer’ lavender adds to the generally pleasing scent of damp grass and earth that permeates the atmosphere. Fruit has long fallen from trees in little orchards, except for some decaying old figs amongst those wonderful big leaves that Adam used to protect his manhood after being cast out to fend in the world like the rest of us humans.
Not everything is picture postcard beautiful, but nor is everything in life. It’s worthy of reflection.
“Michael row the boat ashore.”
God-son Michael, our roles are now reversed. I borrow from the touching sentiment in an earlier Fr Steve Facebook comment, “your dreams live on with me, Michael, and I pray that you walk beside me and guide me. Peace now my brother.” . . . nephew.
Michael, row the boat a-shore
Then you’ll hear the trumpet blow
Then you’ll hear the trumpet sound,
Trumpet sound the world around
Trumpet sound the jubilee
Trumpet sound for you and me
Jordan’s river is deep and wide, hallelujah.
Meet my brother David on the other side, hallelujah.
Jordan’s river is chilly and cold, hallelujah.
Chills the body, but not the soul, hallelujah.
A ‘buongiono’ from a smiling couple I meet along the way brightens my morning, as well as a bright patch miniature Antirrhinums growing out of the rocks (‘snapdragons’ from my childhood days).
I return home less smiling though with itches from insects on the backs of my liver-spotted hands.