There is something charmingly nostalgic about a photograph of a child no matter its origin of generation. Its qualities of purity, innocence and quietude it conveys holds fast its observer and becomes their little treasure for whatever correlation it may have to their life that tugged at their heart. This particular photograph is my little treasure not only because it’s of me when I was a kid but because it dates to an important time in my life. A time that changed my world as I had known it, forever.
I had loved Italy with all my heart, my family, my grandfather and grandmother, my aunts and uncles especially my uncles who imparted their love of motorcycles unto me In their lovable ways they always gave me rides but sometimes there was a fee attached, steal some cigarettes from your mom and you can ride with me and so I did. While my mom would be sleeping after a night shift at the hospital I would sneak into her bedroom and steal her cigarettes, give them to whoever was offering the ride be it uncle Mario, uncle Miche, uncle Titti, uncle Bruno, didn't matter who, I was getting what I wanted, a motorcycle ride by the sea.
It was this picture that was responsible for tempering with my beautiful idyllic life in Italy.
I was asking my dad in America to send for us, little that I knew how different life would be. After all I was just 4 years old and I basically listened to the adults with promises of a long red convertible, fur coat and a house in the country.
When the day had come to leave Italy for good and fly to Canada I cried uncontrollably. I remember it so clearly. I didn't want to go anymore. It wasn't America and there be no more motorcycle rides with my uncles.
Anyway, that was a very, very long time ago but see how a picture can stir so many memories and speak a thousand silent words and maybe even keep a secret and a mystery.
To this day I have no idea why I was holding a Pigeon but I remember hearing a story that my uncles or one of my uncles liked shooting Pigeons for food; apparantly frying them in a pan was the preferred way of cooking them.
I sure hope I wasn't holding on to the chubby feathery little fella for someones meal.
Hope you like the photograph.
Let us come to America soon.
Your Anna xxxxxx
In 1961 a quiet communiqué written on the back of a photograph of a little girl holding a Pigeon in her arms was flown on a silver bird to the other side of the world carrying a message from a daughter in Italy to a father in America. She decided against sending the bird for the long voyage.
Years have passed since then. I met my French Canadian husband because of a motorcycle ride one night, that’s another story, got a Canada Goose jacket instead of a fur coat, bought a bungalow in the country (not far enough) and a Ford 150. The choice was right to make the enormous move and from time to time I do miss my place of birth and the family I left behind but Canada is now my home and will forever be.