Family Snapshots

They were our tenth and final set of visitors this year, which alone made their stay feel quite momentous. In addition, though, this was the first time my eldest niece and her husband had ever come to stay with us, which in turn meant that we have now had all three of my late sister’s grown-up children come to stay this year. It was these visitors’ first time in Italy too, which, for a couple who find travel more challenging than most, also made their visit something of a personal achievement. Consequently, with so many new experiences to enjoy, so much lost time to be made up for, and so many things to say and see and do, putting pen to paper dropped way down my list of priorities. So after a few days’ pause for reflection, here are some snapshots of a very special visit expressed in haiku.

Nervous travellers
Craving our reassurance,
Fearful of ‘what-ifs’

Relief, then delight.
Seeing our smiles of welcome,
Angst melts into hugs

Aunt, niece, late at night
Exchanging confidences,
Laughter and gossip

Tension recedes as
Le Marche works its magic.
Newness is embraced

Conversations that
Illuminate our shared past,
Finding common ground

Sights, sounds and flavours,
Traditions, language, culture
Turn from foe to friend

In her daughter’s face
I sense my sister’s presence
And her wistful smile

Strengthening the bonds,
The golden threads of kinship
That miles cannot fray

Three precious visits:
Future blooming from the past.
Niece, niece, nephew, aunt…

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