I’m not sure how it happened, but it was a gradual transformation. I didn’t even notice it.
After many years of living in Sicily, I have become accustomed to its rhythm, to small-town living, and at times it infuriates me, yet I find I have achieved a certain comfort with life on the island.
I can understand the Sicilian art of living can be utterly satisfying; you don’t need much to live in Sicily.
Small town Sicilian life is about being a part of the community, making time for a bit of work, a lot of food and even more socialising. It’s about an intricate dance with the seasons, a glorious habit that brings small satisfactions that fill the soul.
In their dolce non fare niente, is the colour of the carnival, blessings of Easter, a summer at the beach, autumn roasting chestnuts and winter by the fire. A beautiful, comforting succession of routines.
There is the endless gossip, the distraction of weddings, birthdays, baptisms, communions, confirmations, 18th’s, wedding anniversaries, university degrees, celebrations, and ceremonies amongst each person.
Dispersed by the odd funeral, their whole lives are filled with laughter, food, socialising, strutting, grooming and some tears. It is enough for them to be distracted to pass the time, perhaps forget the outside world and live a simple, complete hedonistic life.
Theirs is the perfect island, an earthly paradise. It makes me smile how delusional islanders can be, yet they are happy in their little bubble living their Siciliatudine until their funerals.
Somehow without realising, I have come under this same spell and find myself ever so subtly becoming a Sicilian too.
I am forgetting the outside world and filling my life with little moments of bliss, slowing down, having time to breathe and being creative. Sicily gives you time to think.
I love how Sicilians accept you just for yourself; there is no competition, you don’t have to be anyone or anything, only yourself. And even if you are something, any particular title will impress them.
Anyone who has a degree is a Dottore or Dottoressa; you can be a writer without ever publishing a word, an artist without selling a single artwork or anything you want to proclaim yourself to be you are.
It’s all part of living a Sicilian life.