Friday, 10 June 2011

A New Day Begins ( M'Illumino d'Immenso)

You could so easily forget who you are, when you can't see where the sea ends and the sky begins.

I went outside, one morning, opened the windows and I instantly knew why the poet (Eugenio Montale) had written one very short verse: " M'illumino d'immenso" ( "Immensity fills me with light") because that is just how I felt, that morning, like every morning, when I realized I couldn't see where the sea ended and the sky began and all I could feel was an overwhelming feeling of immensity.
Getting lost in the INFINITO didn't make me feel insignificant: on the contrary, I knew, for sure, I was part of some great scheme of things. I went inside, put the coffee on, opened the door and went back outside. On my left, a tiled roof, above it, our terrace and, in the corner, my very beautiful oleander I grow in a pot. Winters, in Cilento, can be very long, cold and severe and my beautiful ruby red oleander needs to be sheltered.
My fig trees and the ancient olive tree which live right outside our door seemed to frame the most beautiful of landscapes: the Gulf of Salerno, on my right, crowned by mountains covered in green, yellow and pink jewels, and, on my left, my washing, hanging in the windy, sunny "Welcome!" to a new day, and the island of Capri. Boats floated lazily on the turquoise sea and I felt happy.
I stood under the big fig tree and picked some wild fennel. My orange and lemon trees were still very tiny and surrounded by myriads of baby bay leaf seedlings... a gift from the wind, for sure. There was a scent in the air: the nicotiana, in the shade, was still open. I watered my basil and picked a leaf: wonderful! I knew it would be a good and very hot day... I just knew!
A bubbling sound from inside the house told me my coffee was ready... the familiar pungent smell had reached me and invited me to go inside for the first drink of the day. But the sun was getting hotter, the neighbours were beginning to get up ( I could hear their voices and steps) and I really wanted to stay right there, and be part of the "show."
 Like my beautiful flowers, I needed to soak up the sun, the wind, the blue, the infinite blue, there, where the sea ends and the sky begins. "M'illumino d'immenso" ... said the poet: HOW TRUE!
The sun sets over the washing, drying on the terrace. How beautiful!


  1. A lovely description Anna and beautiful photographs, I can almost feel the scent of flowers in the warm air, that incredible warm smell that you just don't find in England! Thank you for a sunny start to the day, Jane

  2. Good morning, Jane! Glad you liked my photos, my thoughts... my "Room With a View!
    You are right: warm, or in fact, hot weather "amplifies" scents and, in my case, brings back so many memories I have hidden in my "self." That heat is what I feel and breath in when I arrive in Italy, and immediately think: " Home!"
    To me, though, my real home is where the sea is at its bluest and where you can smell the seaweed and "hear" the crabs at night: my native Puglia, where the shallow, very salty sea is the cleanest in the whole of Italy. And I love it!

  3. I have never lived close to the sea but love it so. I would love to become accustomed to the ebb and flow of the tides and to wake up every morning to that salty heart-lifting tang! I love to swim in the sea, there is something so amazing about feeling yourself rocking in the waves. Have a happy Saturday, Jane

  4. This lovely post cheered me no end this evening Anna. Thankyou for your kind words on my blog earlier today, they help and mean so much to me.

  5. Thank you, Lindy. I know how you are feeling, right now and I am happy to have cheered you a little bit.
    Thank you and I hope it gets better, soon.