Home was in a tiny village,
high up in the hills.
A forty-five minute drive up narrow spaghetti roads,
leaving behind the chic villas
and restaurant terraces lined with tourists,
the scene shifting to forest-clad mountains
dotted with simple, rustic stone buildings.
Candle-lit shrines in small caves,
the flames fervently burning
despite never seeing a soul when passing by.
The sounds of donkeys, hens and church bells ringing in the air.
Old, friendly faces uttering 'bella bambini'
as the children would pass by,
curious, interested, welcoming,
gathering at the nearby hotel for a game of bocce or cards
and some pleasant banter over an afternoon drink.
Shrieking over a scorpion we found in the hallway one morning.
Tightly holding hands,
when we returned from dinner in the neighbouring village
in the dark of the night,
the forest path lit up by fireflies, bats flying over our heads
(Pure magic and a little eerie at the same time).
Gulp, pieces of my heart are ending up all over the place...