Cecilia's and Denis's Voices
There are some moments, unrepeatable intersections of space and time, when life poses a question and the answer can change the course of life forever. For us, that moment arrived when we turned forty: we had a choice: continue following our path in life - the known road - the road we had learned to call our own, or go off the beaten track, reignite our passion and perhaps envisage a new version of the future.
Our safe havens were far from the fields, but we decided to leave this security behind and follow a path which until then we had only explored on weekends spent discovering Italy by motorcycle. It was on one of these weekends that we met an unexpected friend and we realised we would never part with it again. Some call it "red gold" and true to this description, it really is the most prized spice. It is the most precious as its cultivation and harvesting must be carried out strictly by hand, requiring similar levels of care and attention to what we reserve for the people we love.
So, we started to study again, because you can never learn enough, and we transformed the plot of land once covered with vineyards, and we made it a home, right next to ours, at the foot of the Reggio hills. Some relatives stared at us wide-eyed in astonishment and probably thought we had been caught up on a whim, why else would anyone give up their holidays and weekends for a spice called saffron.
But sometimes it should be listened to, that pinch of madness, when faced with a challenge. Today we live for saffron - it guides the rhythms of our days. It is for the saffron that during the long harvest days the alarm rings at four in the morning and we go down into the fields with our overalls on, carrying our torches, in both the cold and the rain. We return home covered in mud, full of a kind tiredness, which has all the flavour of victory.
It is not easy to get escape from our habits, to think back to life as it was before: fast-paced, without second to stop, observe or breathe. This is what our project is all about: "rethinking", redesigning the present to be able to live and coexist with nature, enjoy the benefits it conveys to the senses, respect rhythm that make up every moment.
We happen to catch a glimpse of astonishment in the looks of many people we meet, they are sometimes taken aback at just how much of us, our history, our family, flows into our daily work. But if we could choose how to define it, we probably wouldn’t call it "work". Rather, it resembles a marvellous adventure, the key to opening the door to a level of happiness which seemed unattainable until a few years ago.
Perhaps it is true, we sure chose an uphill road, perhaps it wasn’t as bright as all the others, perhaps it was harder to follow, but it didn’t matter to us, because it was our path.
Also in Emilian Voices - Voci Emiliane
My name is Anna Lucia, but everyone calls me Anna. How old am I? I’m 90 years young.
I live in the place I was born: Reggio Emilia. I had a great childhood although the war is certainly ever present in my memories of it. My mother had to make bread every day, because after threshing the guards used to collect the wheat, leaving us with just a couple of ounces each. That’s why we had to be extremely careful not to waste anything. Those were years in which abundance was inconceivable, but we never starved...