This is the old country, right where my father was born, in a barn on Christmas day 67 year ago. My family still owns the parcel, along with it’s olive and lemon trees. Truly humble beginnings with no electricity or water. My grand-mother joined my grand-father in Canada when my father was 8, and he went on to be the most travelled man on the planet, perhaps in history. He is still alive and thriving, opening many negotiations with the mention that back in his village there was literally no money or use for it. Talk about building everything from nothing.
Today we lived a dream we had before any of us were even born, the kind of dream we are made of. AliX, Jane et moi avons visité la ville natale de la famille de mon père. Bombile is home to the Madonna della Grotta, a mystical statue that, legend has it, was carried multiple times into a cave by a donkey. No matter how many times she would be brought up the steep hillside to the chapel atop the mountain town, the donkey would mysteriously bring her back down to the cave overnight. The Madonna of the Cave became an object of pilgrimage for many, as my Nonna told me and her other grand kids countless times. Even when the cave collapsed upon it 15 years ago, the Madonna survived unscathed and is now gloriously exhibited above it. Auspiciously, I got married there mere weeks after the cave’s collapse, much like my marriage eventually did, too, collapse. How meaningful the place must hence be for my daughters, having also heard the stories. I remember being a child and dreaming of bringing my own progeny there someday. Today I lived that dream, and passed it on to them. I hope Jane and AliX have grown stronger today knowing better where they come from, and how deep their roots run.