Oh no! I hadn’t even considered that. It was enough when I heard up to 10% of the cheese had been harmed. Now I had to worry also that there would be a less ham. And in fact, according to an article in the UK newspapaer,
The Gaurdian, one farmer lost 100 pigs when a building housing them collapsed. (Read more here.)
Italy has had its share of troubles this year to be sure. Between the floods on the Cinque Terre coast, the monetary/budgeting issues and now the earthquake I am sure the people there feel like they can’t catch a break… or perhaps are being picked on.
On Saturday I received an email from a friend I met there last summer. She told me that she and her family live in that area and have been dealing with all of the debris and ongoing aftershocks. I know how scary this can be. In 1989 I was living in the bay area during the Loma Prieta earthquake. In fact, I was actually at the World Series game when it struck. That was scary enough… but it was the ongoing fear of aftershocks which put the biggest strain
on my emotions.
We convince ourselves that we are in control of our lives…but natural disasters like these fly in the face of that assumption. They show us that things can change in an instant.
Fortunately, my friend and her family are fine…. shaken (metaphorically and literally) but fine. Life will go one, as it did after the floods…. As it did after the earthquake I lived through. Even the parmesan production will continue and will eventually resume normal levels. The question is what we do with the emotions which arise from challenges like these. When I have stood at the precipice of this truth, where I am reminded that very little of my life is actually under my control, I have had to decide if I would live in fear, building walls and protection around myself or live each moment as fully as possible.
Ironically, in my third novel, Molto Mayhem, it is only when my main character, Lucia, arrives in Italy and is
thrown out of the protective cocoon that she has built for herself that she begins to find the peace that comes from letting go and experiencing each minute of her life.
And to me, this makes perfect sense…. Because there is no place like Italy to experience the true pleasures of life; the beautiful sound of language, the attentiveness of a good friend and the true wonder of a hunk of 24 month old aged Parmesan cheese.