The stories of my life on a little island in the middle of the Mediterranean sea ... and my occasional adventures beyond these shores.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Excuse Me While I Kiss The Sky

It was precisely 7pm. As I cleared away the supper dishes, the bangs from the fireworks reverberated across the valley and rattled our  window panes. (Our fireworks are anything but muted – you’d be forgiven for thinking that a war had broken out). Our neighbouring town was celebrating the feast of St Joseph. With each eardrum-shattering bang, the memories came hurtling back. Excuse me, while I kiss the sky …
Festa night (2)
In an  instant, I was there again, a little child with mouth agape, staring at the statue of the saint silhouetted against the high doorway of the church. Around me, paper confetti floated down gently, landing in my hair, on my shoulders and in a pile at my feet; while around me the cacophony of pealing bells and almighty bangs mingled with the shrill, hissing sound of hand-held firecrackers. All thoughts were drowned out and all eyes were fixed on the gentle face of the carpenter from Galilee, who held the infant Jesus in one hand and his lilly-topped staff in the other. My small hand was entwined in my Nanna’s much  bigger one. She squeezed it tight; as the statue was held aloft and paraded slowly through the streets of the town, hundreds of lips mouthed silent prayers. Excuse me while I kiss the sky …
Festa night (4)
That was many years ago – a time of simple faith and a simpler way of life. This country has changed, as has that impressionable child. Now I know that faith comes from within and has nothing to do with statues, or bells or fireworks from hell. It is strange, this thing we call faith - as tenuous as a cobweb; and, like a cobweb, it clings to us in ways we cannot even imagine.  Faith transcends time; transcends generations – it is a subliminal link to the divine. Excuse me while I kiss the sky …
Rabat and the Catacombs (47)
So every year, when those stentorian bangs boom like cannons across the valley, forcing me out of my reverie, a part of me longs to just drop everything and stand there again - in front of that lofty doorway - with the chilly March air nipping my nose and with my hand held warm and secure by my Nanna; while around us paper confetti float down like spring rain, buildings shudder with each successive boom and bang, and the night sky lights up in a rainbow of shimmering colours – all  underneath the benevolent eyes of the carpenter from Galilee. Excuse me while I kiss the sky.
Location: Church of St Mary of Jesus, Rabat
This post was inspired by:
                           Source: cottagecoastalstore.com via Lorna on Pinterest

12 comments:

  1. What a wonderful story of a magical time in your childhood and accompanies by wonderful photos. I can just "see" you as a little girl caught up in this most reverent moment.

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  2. Oh Loree, I adore this post
    I wish i could be there every summer to experience this
    I wish my boys could be there every summer to experience this
    Tears in my eyes when I read your words
    xx

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  3. What sweet memories ! Such a nice post !

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  4. Thank you for sharing your thoughts
    I feel inspired to hold a grandchild's hand to wonder what memories they are storing away.

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  5. Loree, this took me back to my childhood days in Malta. I lived in Msida and the Patron saint was and still is St. Joseph so thanks for this trip down memory lane. I remember the Festa in honour of the saint , it is usually celebrated in July in my native village but festas are all very much the same in Malta, just as you excellently described your village festa. I also remember the villagers call "Viva San Guzepp!"

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  6. Loree - this is an awesome post - your thoughts and memories are so warm and vibrant - I can see the child you were standing there. Thank you friend for sharing.

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  7. What a seriously gorgeous post, Loree. And I'm here all excited because I finally picked out a post card for you!! I will mail it tomorrow. It's all ready to go. :) :)

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  8. What a beautiful post Loree...I felt every word. Thank you for sharing and thank you for your comment on my recent post...I left a little message for you.. xx

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  9. a lovely reflection on life and faith, loree.

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  10. Wonderful post Loree! St. Joseph is one that deserves all bells and whistles in my opinion. It's great that you remember your nana because of the firework!

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  11. So glad that I found you - thanks to the wonderful Jeanne at Collage of Life - Looking forward to reading past posts! Have a lovely week F

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  12. beautiful images (the first esp is lovely with the lights) and words to accompany. i'm not familiar with the feast of st. joseph, but the catholic church offers up one saint's feast almost every day, no?

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