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City Slickers and Country Cousins

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            POSITANO–. Through the years that I have beeen in this paradise I have found myself staring into the eyes of thousands of foundlings newly arrived on the Amalfi Coast. Foundlings mind you in the sense of “once I was lost and now I’m found”. That is to say enlightened.  And what is it that these red eyed and tired travelers have found coming into “our” territory. I’ve been here long enough to call it that and to have it acknowledged back to me.

                                 What is it they’ve found? A treasure, a treasure of inestimable worth. They’ve found something they forgot deep inside themselves. A way of life so full of color and day to day joys that the awakening instead of a shock is quite gradual. They don’t quite understand what is happening to them. Their breath begins to lengthen, no more short intakes. Their heart rate begins to calm. Their blood pressure undulates like the waves of a calm sea and their repetitive,compulsive thoughts dissolve.

                                 A giggle is about to be born. A smile is forming. A head is nodding to the left and to the right. “This can’t be !This isn’t real”. This is somebody’s movie set.” You see they’ve just done the drive  along the coast from I Colli either in a car or in a bus and the “rupe rupestre  (jagged edges) of our mountains have both seduced and excited them. But they come round the turn into the village just passing the Comune and  their eyes light up as if they have seen a beatific vision. All that came before  in their  minds just seconds ago disappears, literally disappears as they  immerse themselves in an instant into the daily life of Positano and its wonder. The De Lucia vegetable and fruit store with its riot of colors and offerings of every description layed out like so much booty to be had and relished. The activity , the coming and going , the personalities young and old,animated gestures and sounds, the background music of Positano. The dogs and cats and sometimes mules. A market scene in miniature. A picture in time  being played in all its fervor and wisdom in a glance ,in a blink. Yet an impression of this instant that gives joy in lives that come here from far away , not knowing what they are truly going to find. Perhaps the postcard scenes of the travel agents  or the romantic stories they’ve read about us . Yes, perhaps they’ll find all of this . But in an instant pasing that shop on one side of the street and deftly careening around the turn so as not to knock over cans and bottles and household items of every description on the other side they have come home. Home to that place in their lives and perhaps only in their dreams that they had long forgotten about.It truly is the small things , perhaps the seemingly insignificant little markers in our lives that create great changes in us. Enchantment knows no bounds, has no limits in its ability to transport us.


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