In Siena the birds are up long before the sun, the lightening sky filled with wingbeats and song. Swallows circle and swoop in every direction. Loud squadrons dive and shriek past in formation, shrill choirs in search of morning sustenance. Mists from the valley bathe the rooftops and spires in softness. A mourning dove coos in a nearby tree. Another unfamiliar bird joins in with a loud two-note phrase, somewhat akin to an owl’s hoot and a cuckoo.
On a terrace across the ravine on a terrace halfway up the steep embankment, a man performs his morning tai-chi routine, while his small white dog peers over the cliff. Countless pigeons perch on terra cotta rooftops and scatter with heavy wing beats at the sound of a shutter opening or the footfalls of an early morning pedestrian on the stone roadway below.
A small vehicle pulls up to a signboard. A man gets out and plasters a wall with large posters, using a long-handled squeegee to fix them firmly in place.
The sun appears over the highest rooftops, reflected in windows, turning the cross at the top the dome of The Duomo into fiery gold. The birds grow louder then fall silent as the chiming bells of first one cathedral then another fill the entire town, echoing off the brick and stone walls, announcing the beginning of a new day. The birds join in, louder than ever, as the town awakens.
Service trucks rumble up and down the unrestricted streets and lane ways, a scooter whines, a few early risers step out onto balconies, while others poke their heads out to see what kind of day it’s going to be. From what I can tell, it will be just fine. It already is.
- Posted from my iPad