Dogs were always a part of my youth having a mother that was only at ease when a dog was faithfully by her side, Names such as Pacho, Gigi and Boris come to mind as do joyful moments shared with my mother as she caressed a succession of wire haired Dachshunds one more neurotic than the next.
And so yesterday as I walked up my favorite stairway built at the turn of the century joining the Village of Nocelle to Positano, I noticed a golden haired puppy walking by my side. As each of the 1860 steps followed each other and my breathing became more and more strained I felt my young companion was enjoying his stroll just as much as I was. He seemed engrossed in the vegetation on either side of the stairway, bushes of rosemary that filled the air with an aroma of summer, geraniums so strong and colorful all framed in an endless sea of wild flowers timidly appearing after a long winter spent in hiding.
At times my young friend would wonder far and wide letting his curiosity get the best of him only to return eagerly to share his discoveries with me. I could feel we were enjoying each other’s company just as I would enjoy that of a friend.
Half way up the mountain the stairway finally ends in Nocelle’s little square shaded by a giant tree, and offering a mesmerizing view of the sky cascading into the sea gently embraced on one side by a long windy coastline. I always stop to drink at a little fountain while admiring the view, and as I did so yesterday I realized my young friend was looking at me and beckoning as he could not reach the water… without a thought I cupped my hands and started to give him some. At That moment it was not the view, nor my pounding heart that held my attention but my young friend drinking out of my hands… I felt a bond, a closeness and understood why my mother always had a dog by her side.
I slowly walked down the steps with the hope of being followed once again by my friend however he decided more important matters were at hand to be dealt with in Nocelle. How could I blame him, after all the view is the most beautiful one in the world!.