“Places of my hearth”
Sometimes it’s necessary to leave the past behind in order to fully live the emotions enriching the present, this is why I decided that this would be the first piece of work I’d publish, some lines I wrote many years ago for a display called “Places of the heart” but ultimately ended up in a closet for many reasons, first among the others, the fear of other people’s judgement. I am a completely different person now and in order to leave the old fears behind me, I decided to put these lines out for other people to read. Writing about me will be a reading occasion for others and a way to kick start a new life experience!
Do I write well? I don’t know, but it makes me happy doing it!
“Your sons do not have roots”
These six words, so deeply pronounced, keep on echoing inside mind and heart, they keep coming back to haunt me when I try to keep a resume of my life; it feels like an arrow piercing my heart, without leaving me any time to avoid it. I cannot have peace when I think about the person who shot that arrow; the moment I called him should have been one of serenity and comfort, yet it morphed into one of distress and difficulty.
I arrived in San Cipriano, a small town in the immediate proximity of Treviso, for working reasons and to be closer to my sons, therefore I decided they would attend here both nursery school and elementary school. Indeed, school would have soon become one of the “Places of my heart”.
I was twenty-eight years old and I was very insecure, I did not believe in my abilities and in what I would have been capable of doing. The school was the first place I started to frequent and it offered me the possibility of confronting myself with other people, after having only thought about work and home for many years.
Two teachers at the San Cipriano School remember very well about an individual meeting during which I burst into tears, exactly like one of their pupils could have done. My daughter did not have any particular problem at school, the problem was me.
15 years did go by since then yet I remember every detail about that moment: the classroom with its desks placed in horseshoe shape and the two puzzled teachers sitting in front of me. Who knows what they thought about that mother who let herself go in a moment of weakness, without a precise reason they could comprehend; today I would be so grateful to them if, after so much time, they explained that: a mother comes to talk about her daughter but she would much rather talk about herself, about her fears and uncertainties, about her strange and complicated way to face life! One of these two persons has become a reference point for my family and most importantly for me because we share the same values; my only regret is that, even though I share them, I was able to peacefully transmit to others those values, only now, when I’m approaching 40 years of age.
The San Cipriano school has become a familiar site, one of those places where, when you come back after having been far from it, it seems like you are coming back home. Even in the summer, when there aren’t any children messing around in the courtyard, I observe the school with a veil of melancholy and tenderness: my sons have spent moments of great intensity here, accompanied by people who have passed onto them fundamental values: respect of the individual and of other people’s ideas, of nature and of the environment surrounding them.
I keep on calling it “school” and it seems to me like I’m doing it wrong, as it could appear as a cold expression unable to fully express what it really represented. Of course, not everything was perfect, but I realize that every difficulty I or my sons met are just part of the endless pieces that constitute life and that have to match perfectly in order to build a huge puzzle that will be richer depending on how many experiences we can live.
When my idea of homework or lesson construction in class did not match the one of the teachers, I always found people who listened to me and who allowed me to have a constructive discussion with them. Words are one of the vehicles that allow us to communicate and share school moments and personal experiences, even the ones teachers come to know about through some quick chatter or through the lines of an essay in which kids can pour their emotions into.
Sometimes even other parents contributed to school life, for sure making school days livelier but each, in his own way, has left a mark that others may or may not share: it is has been essential that all confrontations with other parents or teachers were constructive and an example of mutual respect for our children.
I considered this school as a privileged place compared to other ones, perhaps because of the reduced number of attendants and also for the enthusiasm put into realizing projects aimed at valuing the children’s qualities and making them discover traditions and peculiarities of the territory; it would be a great loss for everybody if such enthusiasm was lost.
This “place of the heart” is certainly not located where I was born and live with my family; it would have been much easier for my kids attending the school almost confining with our house, but I was sure the one in San Cipriano had something more; there, they grew up with schoolmates and friends and with those who made them spend serenely this period.
The lines I wrote may be a page of the book called life, sometimes it’s complicated, other times it’s full of emotions, for sure this school has been a part of it.
And I am certain that our roots do not reside where we grew up, but where they were allowed to grow!