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July 25, 2011 First Walk along Coast in Acicastello, Sicily

July 25, 2011

July 25, 2011

View from the beach-side path lungomare View from the beach-side path lungomare

“The Universe is change; our life is what our thoughts make it.” Marcus Aurelius (121-180 A.D.)

After being away for 11 months, I arrived back in Sicily a couple of days ago. One of my resolutions is to enjoy my early morning walks along the coast just a block from my condo, so this morning I set out for my walk along the coast bright and early.  As I walked down the hill and turned left onto the road leading to the waterfront, the fragrance of the Sicilian jasmine greeted me in full power!  What an awakening for the senses.  I walked along the coast taking in each and every bit of beauty of the natural landscape.  As I greeted the vegetation, oleanders, bougainvillea, jasmine, lantanas in a variety of colors, lilac and yellow, orange and yellow, red and yellow, I reached the waterfront.  I headed straight to my favorite cafe’ where I drank my espresso and headed towards Acicastello.  I reached Acicastello after 20 minutes and there was the castle, perched upon a high cliff, overpowering the area.  Next to the castle is a piazza, which extends over a large area overlooking the sea with a railing joined in its parts by lava rock columns, upon which stand stucco vases with prickly pear plants.  As I stood next to the castle and looked up the hills towards Etna, I could not see HER, but could hear HER.  She was roaring in full strength!!!! When I had exited my building at the beginning of my walk, I had turned and looked up to see the view of Etna above my street and had noticed the plume above. Etna has been smoking for a while and there is a lot of cleaning up going on as the ash covers all the underlying areas.  Standing under the castle, I looked down at the water gently hitting the large lava rocks along the coast and its emerald green color was as deep as usual. In the silence of early morning, the sound of the soft waves just added to the beauty.  I headed back towards my home, stopping for the daily paper and a quick

Sculture of Mother and Child at Acicastello

hello to the cafe’ staff , who had arrived since my first stop and greeted me warmly.  As I walked back, I noticed the  size of the figs on one of the trees along the street; the figs were slightly smaller than the size of the figs on my fig tree in Burke, which I left behind  just a few days ago.   As I observed all that natural beauty, I thought of the shame of the trash lying around at the carelessness of humans and remembered a quotation I once heard and of which I do not know the author:  “People who come to Sicily cry twice: when they arrive (due to the chaos) and when they leave.”  As I was leaving the road coasting the waterfront, a jogger was heading towards me. SHE was listening to her iPod and I smiled when I read the words printed on her shirt:  “I Love Hollywood.”

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