And so it goes, year after year. Just when we’ve amassed all our strength, they gather us, squeeze us, with their gnarled feet, the sing-song music in the background, making it appear they might be dancing to our death. And we show them, don’t we? We die, the life pressed out of us, to return in another life. A life not as rigid or stable or dependent upon La Mutagna anymore. We are free like butterflies, free to fly all across the earth and share this new life with all of our adoring worshippers, who will drink us, hoping for a little of the life and the fire that gave us this rebirth. That is why they love us? To become immortal as only we can?
Yes, they want to know the secret to life everlasting. The mountain gives it to us, the fire, the ash, the fear. The secret is simply to die. And what comes next, well, that is what everyone is clamoring for from us.
Tonight though, it seems a little different. Somehow ominous. When some of us on this hill were younger there was a period like this, in 1928. Mongibello above us was pressing out new works from Hephestus’ forge and once before in the month of November, the world stopped and turned to look. And then they went about their way, advancing towards another abyss. That’s usually the way it is. They look, in awe, and then they forget and go back to what they were doing. And then it happens again. Men never learn, so it seems, from this perch on the side of the volcano.
But that is not why we are here. We are of the earth and fire. We are light from the sun and rain from the heavens. And we are simply vines and our children, these precious grapes. The world of people, they think they are what run the world. The world doesn’t even know they exist. And the world doesn’t care either.
And for now, we are disregarded. We no longer have our little children dangling from our arms. The sun is no longer burning high in the heavens. The days are foggy and cold. And there are fires burning elsewhere to capture the attention of those who flocked to us in better, easier days. We’ll see. We’ll see.
They’ll be back. And if the bowels of Earth don’t unleash annihilation and mayhem, some of us will be here waiting. Not for them. But because this is where we live our lives. On top of this dangerous mountain.
written (and photographed on Mt.Etna) by Alfonso Cevola limited rights reserved On the Wine Trail in Italy
wine blog + Italian wine blog + Italy W