Nostalgically Rediscovering Village Life

A Microcosm of sorrows, vibrant hopes and a balanced life that unravels at much slower pace

Michael "Mick" Bisignani

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Marano Marchesato shot from the town of Castrolibero [1][2]

Author’s Note: A emotional reflection inspired by a late night conversation with my “Zia Clara”, that took place during a recent trip to my land of origin Calabria, the region of the Italian peninsula which often refer to as the “tip of the boot”.

I reckon, that at least four years must have passed since I last came home, my land of origin. Four years: they felt like a small eternity for time seemed to have slowed down, almost stopped, clutched by an uncontrollable force of nature. That nasty beast, life annulling pandemic of COVID-19 which was unleashed upon humanity, broke my more regular travel routine, and managed to severely interrupt what I pleasantly use to experience as a human recharging cycle.

Luckily, now I am back in the place where I spent my most formative years. Yes, the place where this immigrant son of Italy, now living in the US for more than a quarter century, used to visit once or twice a year, but often impulsively. And today I am back for a short two weeks with a strange, bittersweet heart, a maturing mind and an over reserve of love for a world left behind.

The emotions are complex. Living in the US , from the very beginning of my exile, has allowed me to compare and contrast two worlds. America is my home, it is where I have made my career. It is where I experience and struggle to understand the awful world of politics as it degenerates towards something that deeply troubles us. And it remains a world that I, like most immigrants, are very grateful for.

Italy is, on the other hand, where my heart lives. Italy is where I become a more innocent, naive self, where a romantic view, replaces that daily realism seen through the multiple, obscured, deforming lenses of the media, the trickery of politicians, and sadly misinformed ethos and worldviews of its citizenry. And there is reason for this view. In my eyes and heart, Italy is ancient. America is instead the brilliant realization of a world founded on the ideas of a modern economy and of commerce while Italy, and much of Europe, rises on a foundation of humanism and more classical traditions.

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Michael "Mick" Bisignani

Professional Technologist, Aspiring Food Celebrity. Catholic spreading messages of Empathy and Equality.