Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Soundtrack for the Winter Solstice

     Though these are images of Calitri the Charlie Brown Christmas theme is playing in my head.

Maybe it's the forlorn nature of the imagery or the lack of Christmas lights on via Fontana - Teresa's tabacchino being the only doorway with any festive color - that pulls me back to memories of my childhood and Charlie Brown or the imagined memories of my grandmother's childhood a century ago played out in shades of gray here on this street.

The winter view is from my balcony. The circle of land marked out in the snow a gentle but constant reminder of her spirit. The circle and the land around it for as far as you can see down the slope is still owned by zia Maria & the Cicoira family, direct relatives of mine. Parenti lontana.

Teresa is parenti lontana too but by marriage, Cicoira nonetheless. I walk by her tabacchino almost every evening on my way home to my front door. It is a tiny space filled with a small sampling of just about anything you might need. The kind of goods the little ladies of the lane might stop in to buy last minute, being close at hand and open late. When I asked Teresa not too long ago how many years the shop had been here she thought quietly for a moment then calculated the ages of her mother (recently passed) and her grandmother (long gone) and replied, softly,"90 years." Ninety years ago my grandmother Angela Maria and her brothers & sisters would have known & frequented Teresa's tabacchino on via Fontana too.

I love it here.