09 July 2017
09 July 2017
Waiting for the moment
To know an area intimately involves reflection on one’s own existence: from this knowledge gained the guide can take others on a journey of discovery which goes beyond any stereotype-like presentation
I wait here that the flowers may appear up high: the moment I will know that the time has come to yet again to embark on an exploration of the heights, a season for me to relish and also an opportunity for me to advise others on where to go, what to see, and which lessons of the past to learn from, even that of not treading on the flowers!
I am not too far away now: yet this short distance causes me no little suffering. I refer to the Dolomites, I being down in the lower valley areas, just waiting for the right moment to explore these cherished mountains yet again. I am somewhat impatient if the truth be told. I look all around me and see a lush nature flourishing. Yes, the flowers are dancing merrily, and the birds singing gaily, but when I check out the webacams to see if the time is ripe for me to return to those mountain heights I so adore my disappointment is clear. Not even a single flower is to be seen up high. Just strips of sad looking snow cover the barren terrain. Even the ski slopes have had enough of it all and would welcome a spring rest after the winter battering they have taken. The peaks come and go from view and have, I must confess, a mencacing look about them at present. The movement of clouds to the south is disturbing all and bringing these cold spells as far as the valley floor. Not the most encouraging of scenarios. I crossed the whole area two weeks ago, travelling from east to west. The Dolomites are not so vast so it is not such a great task to achieve such. The locals are of course out and about for they never rest, they having much to do whatever the season. No flowers in sight, no tourists to be seen, and little to celebrate as things stand. Add to this the weather forecast and things are not too bright! I think of our dear Sassongher, it full of well prepared paths, tough though they might be, which take us up so high that the valley settlements below are almost ant-size in dimension. I think to Puez and the breathtaking beauty of its plateaus extending and extending as far as the eye can see, home to majestic rock outcrops and the odd human dwelling intent on guarding the pastures. I think to Sella and how it is miraculous the way the valleys and torrents around have emerged and become home to and witness to the centuries old traditions of the Ladin folk. I think to Fanes, a land of legends and place of great adventure for those with unlimited reserves of energy. I think to Padón, and its black mysterious volcanic look – it different from other locations all around and yet enjoying a different and unexpected sort of beauty. And my contemplation takes me to all those places to the south and east of Val Badia, where others, no different from me, tramped with a gun in their hands and where led to unbearable suffering – this the consequence of war just 100 years ago. Lagazuoi comes to mind, a prime example of beauty becoming an inferno: cold, humilitation and death for company, and all just so as to obey absurd orders of others, others who were for the most part as absurd as the orders they utterered. It is difficult to judge today, with the criteria we have, the development of an Italy still relatively young as a nation and a Europe subject to nationalistic tendencies as experienced in the 19th century, but at the very least we need to learn fom our errors. This to is the reason I wait, I wait here for the right moment. I wait here that the flowers may appear up high: the moment I will know that the time has come to yet again to embark on an exploration of the heights, a season for me to relish and also an opportunity for me to advise others on where to go, what to see, and which lessons of the past to learn from, as well as which errors not to repeat, even that of not treading on the flowers! May the time soon come.