The walk of life, so disconcerting with its sudden bends that hide at the sight what there is beyond, making hearts tremble in fear for the unknown, and hopes that stumble on  weak  intentions and failed attempts.  But  life is just a road. We know when and how  it starts, but we don’t know when and how it is going to end and what there will be in between. We can build our houses, we can build our dreams, but nothing is meant to stay forever, not even sorrow. So it can happen to be swallowed by a Maelstrom that make us sink and agonize at the bottom of a hostile ocean without having the force to emerge again. All efforts seem vain till we are unwilling to keep on fighting.  Nevertheless a soul, as gauzy and thin as it can be, always finds in itself that ancestral instinct of self-preservation that never gives up and lulls us with the solace that we need. In my hardest hours when all is darkness and a craving for comforting words tears me asunder,  my mind brings me back to the place that has seen the innocence of my emotions still unsullied. A castle that overlooked the valley , a cross that shone in the night and seemed to hover  in the sky near the castle  and the sound of bells chimes that marked the flow of time. My hometown. I close my eyes and I see the place where I grew up. A guardian stood tall and  proud in the middle of the main yard, a centuries- old pine. I loved to hug that leafy giant without caring if my mother scolded me for the resin  that she couldn’t wash away from my clothes. A melodious silence that was broken by the scratchy voice of the crows noisily  perching  on the top of the ancient steeple that was surrendering to the assault of ages. I’m still playing  there. My steps are still resounding in the cloister where maidens in their medieval gowns smiled from the frescoes on the walls. Scenes of past times that enriched the severe simplicity of the Romanesque style. I often liked to be alone, thus I reached a field where there was the “Dingy house” as we used to call it. It looked so miserable during the day, but in the light of sunset seemed to be painted with Munich’s poignant brushstrokes. Between a corner of the house and an arch there was a wild peach tree. It was unlikely that someone had planted it there, I’ve  always thought about a seed that accidentally dropped there and  soil that had kept it warm till it germinated. A little plant that grew up fighting against weed and bad weather without having the help of a friendly human hand and then a tree so thin that it  looked like a child’s skeleton. Compared to the hugeness of the pine it really seemed so fragile. It seemed that it couldn’t survive a new Winter. Instead at every Spring, with  it’s bony branches covered with leaves and delicate blossoms, it was still there.