Autumn of fate

Publish date 27-12-2020

by Gian Maria Ricciardi

Those faces, those names, in the special days of memories, were with us. They are the very particular images of a very particular “all saints” in the interminable months of the virus that has come from afar that upsets us hours, days, life. Someone has stolen their balance, or their wisdom, everyone's serenity. Now, those military trucks, lined up on the streets of Bergamo have entered it. They carried away a generation: swept by a gust of wind or swallowed by a giant wave of the sea. They like all those who have gone "alone" in hospital beds: we must have been abandoned with a tear to our humanity. Part of our dignity has also gone with them. Some have called on the phone; others have entrusted the last message to nurses and doctors (angels then, many denounced now: "Tell my wife that I have always loved her"). Heartbreaking!

36,000 and beyond: how many stories have slowly resurfaced, while among the leaves of a strange autumn we walked along the avenues of the cemetery in the pilgrimage of memory, the one that makes a society more civil. They were moments of encounters with lives broken by invincible diseases, by unpredictable accidents, by human neglect, by disrespect for nature and the environment.
There was no more suitable location to read a few passages from Pope Francis 'Laudato si' than the corners, colored by trees, of city, village and mountain cemeteries.
Of course there in those photographs stolen from life there are many stories, beautiful stories, others less so. There are our remorse, perhaps, for not having forgiven, or reached out for a squeeze (then it was possible); there are the tenderness of unrepeatable moments of serenity perhaps immersed in the poor everyday life of yesterday; there are the missed smiles, the useless stubbornness. But now, in November 2020, in the days of unreal light that, again and again, brought tornadoes and floods, viruses and mud, there is more.

There is a piece of history, as President Sergio Mattarella said, who left in a melancholy and solitary solitude. They left alone because they could not speak and they lived this nightmare, personal and global, as if they were moving in a tunnel under the sea, with the fear of missing oxygen, that the certainty of life would vanish. Who would have thought it: in the age of communication, social media, speech, contact via mobile phone, tablet, everything away. Alone, in front of destiny, in front of life and God. Too many. They saw the light go out in every part of Italy (and only God saw their eyes close) and ended up in the white tarpaulins and coffins that our priests and our bishops, true shepherds, blessed in the deserted churches and cemeteries , in the melancholy squares of hospitals and retirement homes. We imagine with trepidation the embrace with the immense and the signs of humanity denied on earth, found in heaven.

Here now, in this special November everyone was with us. They look at us from heaven and have accompanied us on the avenues of mystery. They told us: "Be careful, don't obsess about it." Did they teach us to smile at life because you can even with puffy eyes? Yes, you can, above all you can pray and hope.

Gian Mario Ricciardi
NP November 2020

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