The first thing I do every morning at my Sicilian house is open the front door, front wooden shutters and the iron gate. This is both practical and symbolic. I want to let in all of Sicily. To quote Rosalind Russell in the production of “Mame,” “life is a banquet and most people are starving.”
Sicily is the banquet I have been waiting for my whole life. She has been waiting for me and I have finally let her in. Maybe I never had a soul and didn’t realize it, although I don’t think that that is the case.
She has entered my soul. Some days it enters with the smashing of the waves; other days it enters with the gentleness of a quick waft of a breeze – not to be felt again for hours…
Anyway, this am on the marble threshold that keeps my perimeter, “A Casa di Angela” from the rest of the world, there was a very dead bumblebee on its back being consumed by ants – lots of ants. The location of this bee’s demise was near the hinge of the gate. I made note to pay attention – I didn’t have time to think about the bee as I had a busy couple of hours ahead of me. I first had to “prendere café” with my neighbor and her huge dog, Hugo, a Corso. Then I had to “fare un bagno” in the sea, then I had to have coffee again with another friend in a different summer community – about a 10 min walk.
Upon my return, the ants had decided that the bee was no longer an item of interest; they moved along to find another succulent morsel. However, this bee, which measured 3 x 1 cm (1-1/4 inches x ½ inches), was moved about 14 inches. Yes, I did get out my very simple tape measure. Fourteen inches! When I considered the size of these ants and how many it took to move the dead bee 14 inches, it gave me pause.
How many ants moving me how many inches did it take for me to get to Sicily?