Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A Box from Sicily

The fragrance that escaped from the box from Italy was indescribable.

Today I received “na cona”, those little alters one finds on the walls of old houses in Sicily, with an icon of Christ or the Madonna, covered in flowers, oranges, lemons, almonds, Indian figs, and sprigs of hawthorn. All this and more one would see covering the image in times gone by.

My “cona” had oranges and mandarins from Sicily, and on this gloomy day a ray of sunshine has entered my house.

In an instant I found myself in a scented garden, one of those gardens which you can find all over the plains around Catania, picturesque landscapes framed by Etna.

For an instant I was back there, amidst the bursting plant life, those brilliant colours and that inebriating aroma. I was there, amidst the long rows of orange trees, all green leaves and golden fruit. Unforgettable scents which one misses when far from home.

Returning to the present, the desire to eat one of those lovely oranges was irresistible, so I sat myself on the ground with an orange in my hand.

“For me, an orange is nothing less than a miracle. When I look at an orange in the here and now, I can see it with my spiritual eyes – the orange blossom, the sunshine and the rain going through the blossoms, the tiny green orange, and then the tree working over time to bring the orange to it’s full size. I look at the orange in my hand and I smile. It is nothing short of a miracle.”
--Thich Nhat Hanh

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