Sunday, October 12, 2014

The departure

Eventually August the 17th arrived, our last day of vacation.
Tomorrow we will leave our country of origin, Gesico, to go back home to Rome.
We'll be back in Sardinia next summer to visit our parents.

This time I could not do more that one-tenth of the things that I promised myself, but this is also a constant.
Let's see: I still have in my pocket the compiled list of things to do before you start the holidays.

Visit the Nuraghe Cobumbus - done.

Visit friend Celeste - done.

Dinner with old schoolmates - skipped.

Visit to the museum of Cagliari - done.

Visit Aunt Nina... damn.

Once again, also this year!
Same story every time! I made a list of important things and then always check it only the last day of vacation!

There are only a few hours to dinner time, I still have time to say goodbye to Aunt Nina and Uncle Lucius.

But yeah, let's try!

I ask my son to accompany me to Aunt Nina, he is always happy to greet the family.
Aunt Nina is the oldest representative of the family Schirru in Gesico, my grandmother's sister Cenza, and if I can I always like to see her.

Step to take my mother and all the three arrive at the aunt's house, at the entrance of the village.

The house was made for a big family, as in the past. The door hided the large and massive interior courtyard with a beautiful well in the center. The courtyard was paved with irregular stones and grass grows between them. On the left side you can still see the loggias for the cattle, a time they would feel the bleating of sheep and the noise of the people who worked there. Nowadays, everything is changed, abandoned, and sad and off. To the right of the house, there was a row of ornamental orange trees. Once I was a child I had tasted one of those bitterly fruits, I never forget it!

When we get are just six. My aunt is in the yard, sitting on a low chair, surrounded by relatives came to visit, and we welcome all guests to sit. Aunt Nina gives us an orange and a sweet, as is his habit.
Then greetings were followed by endless chats on relatives, on births and deaths and family tree.

Only later Aunt Nina starts telling those things that I love so much, small nursery rhymes, prayers and muttettus in the Sardinian language campidanese.

What a memory!
The evening is beautiful, but her aunt look steadfastly towards the south and at some point begins to speak loudly, to attract the attention of everyone.

"Tomorrow will be a bad day. I beg you, stay home. Avoid travel and bring the cattle in the barn. "

"But Auntie, you say, the weather did not say anything."

I'm complaining, but she looks at me with a wry smile of one who knows a lot and continues as if I did not exist.

"There is no doubt, a big storm is approaching. I will pray to St. Barbara because it takes away from home and because Santu Jaccu protects you along the journey. "

It was useless to argue. If her aunt had made up her mind one thing, it had to be that.

The popular beliefs of Sardinia attributed to the saints with the task of protecting people from natural events that could be dangerous or evil eye.

A few years before had told me how he cared and taught me the evil eye "is brebus," the words to be spoken to protect or to treat those who were struck by the evil eye.

Inside the nursery rhyme there were often the names of some saints who were supposed to act as pimps or intermediaries.

Well, also to protect themselves from time the Saints had their importance, Santa Barbara and San Giacomo in particular.
The visit was over, it was seven and they were waiting at home for dinner.

I was happy to be able to greet her aunt and we could go back with the certainty that, if there had been a storm, someone would protect us.
We had dinner together in the yard at my parents' house. The evening was beautiful, the air warm and good wine helped in the conversation.

Then, at some point, my mother asked her to help pick up everything before you leave. We cleared the table quickly and I was about to say hello when my mother asked to me to help bring into the room even the tables, chairs and vases that were in the verandah.

"What need is there to bring in all, it's a beautiful night...” said I quite astonished.

His answer left me stunned. "Alexander, you have not yet figured out that if an old man tells you something you have to listen? If aunt said that tomorrow there will be a bad storm, it is necessary to believe and prepare. "

I did not want to discuss, I helped to bring in the pots and then we said goodbye. We would meet again next summer.

That night I reminded an old nursery rhyme that I had heard so many times when I was a child. My grandmother always recited it when a storm was approaching. He said he needed to protect his loved ones from dangerous thunderstorms and lightning. The nursery rhyme was only part of a complex ritual that she had explained to me.

"These rituals are part of our family from centuries. Not everyone knows them and even if they know them because they cannot recite only those belonging to the family of sorcerers have the power to do that. "

I always listened to my grandmother, even when she talked of such unusual things.

I closed my eyes and tried to sleep.

It was a few minutes past midnight when a thud began to get louder and louder. A distant thunder approaching ... the wind had got up suddenly and wood blinds began to creak, as if to warn of an approaching danger. I got up and looked out the window in disbelief.

The sky to the south was brightly lit by lightning. The dark clouds loomed on the moonlit sky. One time, as he had told his aunt, approached...
Santa Brabara e Santu Jaccu,
bosu pottaisi is crai de Lampu
bosu pottaisi is crai de celu
no toccheisi a fillu allenu
ni in domu ni in sattu,
santa Brabara e Santu Jaccu.

The words I remembered suddenly, clearly, felt the rumble in my head. Without realizing it I walked to the fireplace in the kitchen. I stretched out his right hand and grabbed a handful of ashes.

I went back to the window, I put my hand up to my mouth and began blowing toward the storm without stopping to mentally repeat the chorus.

Santa Brabara e Santu Jaccu,
bosu pottaisi is crai de Lampu
bosu pottaisi is crai de celu
no toccheisi a fillu allenu
ni in domu ni in sattu,
santa Brabara e Santu Jaccu.

Then his lips began to move involuntarily. I had finished the ashes like a dream and saw my arms stand up to the sky.

I recited the spell, first slowly, then faster and louder and louder...

Santa Brabara e Santu Jaccu,
bosu pottaisi is crai de Lampu
bosu pottaisi is crai de celu
no toccheisi a fillu allenu
ni in domu ni in sattu,
santa Brabara e Santu Jaccu.

Seemed to me that time does not pass anymore. Then suddenly I realized that the wind changed direction. The storm moved away to the west, accompanied by thunder and lightning.
I went to bed in silence, it seemed that no one had realized nothing.

My wife was asleep turned on its left side and the silence had returned to reign in the room.

The next morning I got up late, I was tired. Barely remembered having dreamed.
A strange dream. I had heard the roar of the approaching storm, but the sun in the window said that the day would be nice. Aunt Nina had the wrong weather, just as well. We had a long trip and do not drive in the rain I never liked!
I went down to the kitchen. My wife had just put the coffee on the stove and the smell had just begun to spread in the air.
"Did you sleep well?" He asked casually.
I answered yes, even though I was really tired, as if I had not gone to bed at all.
"You know, last night I thought I saw you standing in front of the window. It must have been a dream ... "
Only at that moment I realized that all sweaty, as if I had made some kind of effort. Suddenly I remembered everything clearly. Impossible, I thought! I reached to stroke the window of the bedroom, I laid hands on the sill and looked long at the sky, searching for answers.
It can not be, I dreamed ... I thought, and went back into the kitchen.

I sat down at my usual place and began to sip the coffee.
"Love, you've got his hands dirty with ashes? Go wash ... "

Said my wife, with a firm tone ...

The translation is about this: Santa Barbara and St. James /
you have the keys of lightning / you have the keys of heaven /
not affected other people's children / they do at home in the countryside / St. Barbara and St. James.

Alessandro Giovanni Paolo Rugolo

Original language: Italian
Translated by my novel: La partenza.

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