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Two, four, no, countless swifts in the bright, deep blue late afternoon sky above the roofs of Linguaglossa in Sicily. They have returned from Africa in the last few days. A whole life in the air. Never a step on the ground. Today the last day of March 2019, it's 17:45. Silence, even in the village. A starling calls long-drawn out, it also has its winter quarters on my roof. The laurel is in bloom. During the day, when the sun shines, it is full of buzzing bees. Here and there a pigeon flies by in a hurry. And I hear the short chagg of the jackdaws that live in the holes in the wall. 


Cats, there is always one running towards me, Tigitigi is another foundling from Switzerland. Dogs, ten in number, all from Linguaglossa, from the street, from the bushes. Dana, Fiar, Cetti, Leon and his foster mother Trente, Cesare and his sister Rosy and their friends Emma & Tina. Countless, thousands of oaks on 20 hectares of land, many sweet chestnuts, dozens of elms, nine black pines, four pines. Holm oak, wild cherry, sorbus, a maple, about 500 olive trees, hazel bushes, fig and almond trees, pear and apple trees. A pomegranate bush. Quinces, medlars, tree nuts, cherries, apricots. Mulberries. Prickly pear cactus. Tangerines, and now lemons and kiwis.


Immersion in the old cultivated landscape with its mountains terraced from the valley to the highest crest, overgrown mule tracks paved with stones, crumbling wine presses. After the war, the steep, labour-intensive land was abandoned. Many emigrated, to the canton of Aargau in Switzerland, to Australia.

Sicily, the magic inherent in the place and in the word. Archaic and anarchic despite EU-firnis, rough, wild, beautiful. It's a long story.

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