We had finished a leisurely afternoon meal at the apartment of Italia the Elder, my Grandpa Sam’s sister and mother of his niece Italia the Younger. Everyone was very excited and had prepared a bowl of yellow flower petals for us to shower upon a procession that was about to take place outside.
The streets were decorated with pictures of the Chalice and Name of Jesus (Gesu) all made out of the same yellow flower petals.
In the hot summer afternoon, the drama of seeing the priests go through the Old Byzantine Gate and down the steps towards the New Town impressed itself upon me. As the children came down there was a sense of past and present meeting at that moment. Watching the flower petals flutter downward from where we stood on the balcony made me rush in to get my camera.
My Grandmother obliged by continuing to throw the petals as I took several photos. The golden petals reminded me of the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.
When my Uncle and I were discussing events that would bring relatives from out-of-town to Agropoli, it may have been events like this that served as the first meeting for couples like Carlo and Rosa whom we presented in the previous posting. We will never know for sure how couples from different towns came together. It is something to think about when considering the deep impression an event such as a wedding or Holy Communion takes on when experienced outdoors and in a place with so much ancient history evident.