Who sends the swallows? Almost always when I am away on business during the first days of March, call home, and ask if the swallows have returned to Solomeo. I ask it for two reasons: because I have loved them since I was a child, and because sometimes, I have heard, in some countries they don’t come back; maybe they don’t feel comfortable there anymore, and this gives me a little fear.
So even in these times I had already begun to wait for them for a few days, because you can put your watch back on: when it is around the fifteenth of March, here they are again, with their joyful gurgling and harmonious twirling. And indeed yesterday, suddenly, they arrived. While I was already sitting in the study of the ancient castle, face to face with my morning thoughts, I see them, already in full fervor for the insect hunt, coming and going laboriously under the eaves of the roof, where I welcome them as one of the most beautiful gifts of Creation. Every year I rejoice in the swallows, but in these slightly less easy moments I seemed to see in them the symbol of rebirth.
A few days ago I thought of all of us as sailors. I like this image, because Dante saw men who go through life. In these moments we perceive even more our nature as sailors, who like Ulysses bind to the tree if there is a storm, and like Christopher Columbus they scan the horizon in search of the first birds, divine messengers of mother earth.
Every good sailor knows that a lighter boat is easier to navigate; today, following the rules of those who have responsibility for our health, we are relieved of many small habits that perhaps we believed indispensable for a happy life. But how surprising it is to realize that in the end we feel lighter, in the family, among us, a life of other harmonious times. I would like everyone to learn to see even in painful things what much joy there is.
In today’s suffering there is also the good of moral reaction that will make us better, and it may be that tomorrow, when the memory will slip away along with the suffering, thinking back to these days, we will reflect, with Aristotle, that even calamities have a soul and can become teachers of wise life.
Lovely sailing friends, who with me you saw the beautiful reality of our company born and animated every day with your brilliant temperament, I would like you to manage the bar of your vessel, just as I as a boy managed to keep the handle straight of the plow, with my father who happily admired those straight furrows, enchanted by their beauty.
I would like that recognizing the truth of the measures prescribed by our highly respected managers of the current crisis, people of Science, Government, Healthcare Facilities, observed them with patient discipline. I wish you were aware but not apprehensive; I would like the certainty of your return to life to be alive in you.
There have been, in every part of the world, times and events far more painful than the present ones; but they are all gone. The gray clouds pass and leave the space, again free, to accommodate the swallows; and you see, we don’t know who you send them, but here they are, the swallows have already arrived.
Also read the letter from Angelica Cheung from China defeating the coronavirus