Like every summer, grandparents took the children to the beach. It was now a ritual: they would spend the whole month of July on the beaches of Liguria. It was the best time of the year for Matteo. He loved the sea, its smell, its color and the long dives he allowed himself not beyond the white buoy (actually they only lasted few seconds, but this will remain a secret). Then he would get out of the water, take a shower under his grandmother’s screams: “I don’t care if it’s cold, take off the salt immediately!” and, all curled up in his coloured towel, with his clean swimsuit, he looked for his grandfather’s gaze. This one pretended nothing had happened and continued to read the newspaper from the beach chair on the other side of the beach umbrella. He cared about the boy’s education and he only wanted him to explicitly say: please. In that moment, Matteo sat down and asked: “Can I have some focaccia…” and he played for time and looked at his grandfather who remained motionless. His grandmother, under her straw hat, immediately intervened: “Matteo, what do you have to say? Plea…plea…?” while looking at him straight in his eyes. “I don’t know. I only know I want it!”. Even his grandpa, who was acting as if nothing had happened, sneered. However, his grandmother immediately said: “Well, then nothing”. She immediately took up her crossword puzzle with a stern gaze. “Please…” the boy sighed, who was immediately rewarded. While he was eating his focaccia, he noticed that his beloved grandmother, who really loved him, did not consider him at all. He put her to the test: he exposed himself to the sun without putting on the sunscreen. His grandmother, who would have normally screamed and followed him with sunscreen 50, did not look up from her magazine. His grandfather, who then noticed the situation, suggested to his wife to take the boys for an ice cream in the city centre. However, only the men left, because the women of his family, his wife and his granddaughter, wanted to rest in the shade. Nobody dared to utter a word: Matteo, who was a very proud person, pretended nothing had happened, but he was clearly sorry; his grandfather only held his hand during the walk. Therefore, he was the one who set the pace and, unexpectedly, decided not to go into the city centre, where the ice-cream parlor is placed, but he preferred to take the road which runs along the beaches. This is a bit strange, because they usually avoid this walk so as not to expose themselves too much to the scorching sun of two o’clock in the afternoon. They were about to arrive at the pier, when the grandfather stopped and looked at the big tower. It was an old, grey and half run-down bastion, yet it is still today the symbol of the village. “Listen Grandpa, what difference does it make if I don’t always say thank you or you’re welcome? If sometimes I forget to say thanks or please? I don’t understand why Grandma was so angry!”. “Matteo, he answered him patiently, look at that tower and tell me what you see”. ”I do see a tower”. “Here’s your problem, son, you only see the tower! Why don’t you look deeper?”. “But grandpa, I always see the same thing”. “You have to learn to look at things with other eyes, with a different perspective. You have to go deeper. Obviously, it’s not just that thank you or please which is important. But what is important is what you can’t see: kindness. I’ll give you an example, if you passed by here and saw this tower, you would say that is just a normal tower. However, if you look deeper into something and if you try and learn to see the little things, the beauty of the little things, you will discover that…”. “Grandpa, grandpa! Something’s moving! It has the same color as the tower, and it moves!”. “You’ll find out that all the most beautiful things are a bit hidden, but when you learn to see them, you won’t be able to do without them anymore. Thank you and you’re welcome are only small gestures that show something much deeper which is kindness. It is true that it seems that you cannot see it or touch it, but it is there and if you look with other eyes, you can see it. Nevertheless, you have to be careful, you have to look deeper into things, and then you will come here, you will stop and discover that this tower is full of geckos!”. “Grandpa, there is one here and one there. Grandpa let’s go, let’s go to have a closer look!”. When the old man and the child moved closer and realized how many beauties an ancient grey wall could hide, the kid turned around, looked at his grandfather and said: “Then, I have to say it also for this”. “What do you mean, son?”. And, jumping suddenly on his neck, he said: “Thank you”.
Published by Grandi Storielle
Siamo sei ragazze, Carola, Celia, Hannah, Livia, Morena e Sara che si sono conosciute in Erasmus a Chambéry e hanno ora deciso di mettere a disposizione la loro piccola ma grande arte per tutti. View more posts