A road in the woods

Publish date 11-09-2021

by Gian Mario Ricciardi

There is a road in the woods. It is narrow, dark, paved by over a hundred thousand times swept away, like lightning in the dark, by the relentless pandemic: a massacre above all of the elderly, an erased generation of friends with many dreams, flown away in the nights and days of a another cursed spring. The road, here and there, lights up with a few rays of sunshine that try to give it back its former colors. They are flashes of light, now after a year, almost timid, stunned, dazed indeed faint. They all have the same common denominator: the attempt to rediscover humanity.
Like that of young people in Parma who read short stories on video calls to the elderly who are forced into endless isolation in retirement homes; or that of groups of young people who in Milan as in Turin go shopping for those who cannot do it; or that of those who give the salt of hugs to the RSA. It is our people who understood the value of the gift and of thanks like our great-grandmothers who, under the bombings of the Second World War or in the widespread misery immediately afterwards, brought a kilo of flour or sugar to those who did not have it inside. rough, blue paper that many of us still remember.
In the road in the woods, perhaps, the rebirth has already begun in silence: it is in the eyes of those who, challenging the pandemic, want in some way to remember the too many lives they have taken; in cafes and "suspended" lunches as in the Naples of misery.
Yes, there is a path to try to get out of the now unbearable blanket of fog that for too long has covered not only the Po valley, but all of Italy.
They are small gestures of human warmth that each of us, if only we make an effort to look up, can grasp around us.
The struggle for life has made us very selfish in the face of those who said that we would only give the best of us. We gave it the best, but so did the rest: mors tua vita mea. We live months that have brought to the surface even the worst of us, we have seen elevators disinfected but avoided for the right fear of contagion, deserted trains and planes, half-empty churches, closed doors and an avalanche of suspicions, fears, fears that they are poisoning the days.
Maybe that's right because it's the survival instinct. But, now that we see the light down the street, maybe something can change. Of course it was trivial to cover the streets with banners "Everything will be fine" because, in truth, it went badly, very badly. Today the rich are getting richer, the poor poorer, we are more and more alone. This gigantic "step back" in our personal histories and in the world, however, this crazy dive into the time machine (and without a parachute) has not only brought death, tears, hearses, but has also brought to the surface values ​​canceled by excessive consumerism. , from the hectic life, from the haste, from the endless run. Let me be clear: we all wanted to avoid this earthquake of feelings. We couldn't do it.
Now, however, stunned by the slap, in the enormous confusion of the emergency that is stirring the world, the geopolitical assets and our lives, we begin to see the contours of that road in the woods again. With a new calm we will cover it all to find ourselves, then yes, better than once.
Gian Mario Ricciardi
NP may 2021

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