Monday, April 30, 2012

The Dark Side of Positano

Positano full moon
Getting down the stairs at night was an enterprise.
Blinking lights like an airport runway, turned on and off repeatedly only to reappear millimetres from where we were about to place our foot next. Each of our steps was a hovering indecision, a crucial life or death situation for the magical creatures lining the path.
Slowly we made our way back to our home, fireflies dancing at our feet.
Hundreds of them, as brash as could be, lit our stairs leading to the gardens of Fornillo below our home. They clung to the stucco walls, flittered towards the street light and rested, dozens on each  step, a moment or two before changing position.
Leaning over the balustrade on the terrace, we watched enchanted as the fairies of the insect world waltzed in the lemon groves at our feet, the tall grass fleetingly masking the light and making it reappear at a distance. They rose and dipped in the terraced gardens, pockets forming in the corners only to dissipate just as quickly.
Are you there my love?
The romance of the situation was not lost on me.
The Amalfi Coast known best for the sweeping views and its natural coastline, transforms into a beguiling woman at night.
Its mysterious shadows envelope a constellation of tiny lights along the coastline. Its curves reflect the lights of the small towns.  Its sea is always in sweet song and dotted with fisherman’s boats on the horizon.  When in full moon, this lady of the night makes a dramatic entrance, red and impossibly grand over the edge of the mountain.  Its mesmerizing moonlight grazes the surface of the sea with an elegant liquid silver.
If I were a firefly, it would be here that I would dance.

Late April, the days warmed by the sunshine and the nights cooled by its shadow, are the best time to see the dance of the fireflies in Positano. The abandoned gardens in Fornillo are a haven for the ecosystem of the Coast and these insects are replaced in summer by the tiny bats, owls and less appreciable blood sucking creatures called mosquitoes.