My apartment is part of a several two story houses, clustered together. All apartments are on the first floor, and underneath, there are several small shops.
As of 6:30 am, I hear Laura, my neighbour, opening the coffee bar downstairs. By 7 am, Valentina opens up her newspaper shop, followed by Theresa and her dry cleaning shop half an hour later. Around 11, Antonio and his family open up the restaurant.
For miles around, there are no other shops nor restaurants, so come winter, come summer, come rain, hail or sun, the community congregates around this small area, from early morning to late in the evening.
There is always laughter from children playing in the street, chatter from the people sitting on the terrace, greeting the passers-by "Ciao, caro!" "Come stai, bella?"..
This afternoon, I was sitting on my terrace, reading in the sun, engulfed by the background chit-chattering, kids laughter and the scent of the flowers blooming all around. I went for a gelato, and walked up to the beach, 500m further, and back. The flowers blooming along the road caught my eyes:
It all reminded me of a Sanskrit poem by Kalidasa, the other "E" once shared with me:
Look to this day, for it is life
The very life of life
In its brief course lie all the realities and truths of existence,
The joy of growth, the spendor of action, the glory of love
For yesterday is but a memory
And tomorrow is only a vision
But today well lived makes every yesterday a memory of happiness
And every tomorrow a vision of hope
Look well, therefore, to this day.