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The Village of Castagnola Speaks to Her Children

[image ALT: A plaque in Gothic lettering, the text of which is given on this page. It is a paean to hometowns, in Castagnola, Umbria (central Italy).]

On a low wall in front of a group of houses, this plaque reflects the trees of Castagnola.

Castagnola, August 1995

Dear Child,

Don't be surprised if I start my letter by calling you "child". It doesn't matter where the travails of life have taken you. You are and will remain my child. Within my walls you took your first steps, the light of my sunrises and sunsets has spelled the rhythm of many of your days; the warmth of my soil jealously guards the remains and the remembrance of your loved ones.

When the din and the worries of life bear down on you, my silence and my quiet receive you, and like a soothing balm penetrate you and revive you. The relentless march of the years has taken away many of my children who have preceded you. Fear not.

In the houses and along my little streets — listen: you can always hear the murmur and the voices of the past; every stone of mine reflects the faces of our people.

Don't abandon me!! Make me live!!

Don't let the grass of neglect grow on my ancient stones. Don't let a deathly silence spread its wings over my little streets. Don't let the specter of abandonment hover over my roofs. Don't let it happen!

Because, when the bite of solitude in the ever more inhospitable cities assaults you and the unbearable weight of the years presses down on you, I will take you in and, like a father, will guide you to your sunset.

Your hometown.

[image ALT: missingALT. It is a group of houses and their garden in Castagnola, a village of Umbria (central Italy).]
The houses and garden behind the wall: 16c or so, I think.

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Page updated: 31 Jul 05