It was the faithful companion of many a sunset in Turin for over six years. We lived always in the same place, a rather nondescript tenament in the southern Santa Rita borough, one of those neighbourhoods that had popped up in the 1960s to house the workmen fuelling the car industry boom of those years. It wasn’t anything special, even though it was our first home away from home and, therefore, smelt of freedom.
And, moreover, it had that view. From the dining room we could see downtown, the skyscrapers – two in total – and the mountains towards Switzerland and France. From the kitchen, and from my room, we could see the Cozie and Maritime Alps: among them the most striking, the most imposing, was the Monviso.
I had been used to see the mountains, having lived amongst them for all my life. But the Monviso has always been something different. 3840 meters tall, a good half a kilometer taller than its neighbouring peaks, shaped to an almost perfect pyramidal shape, it is the mountain, by definition. On those clear days after a rainy front had passed I used to gaze at it from my balcony, marvelling at its size and physique du role. On clear sunsets its slihouette would remain impressed in my mind, often being the last thing my eyes would see before I went to sleep.
It’s now four years and a month since I closed that door for the last time. Four years in which the sight of a mountain has passed from being a normal occurrence to a treat, something to mention to friends and family. Then on last Saturday, on a flight, I happened to look out of my window and there he was. If you click on the pictures to enlarge them and look out for its big, tall pyramidal shape, you’ll see it.
The Monviso, its imposing presence perhaps diminshed but not at all eliminated. There he was, my old friend, waving hello to me. Almost telling me that I could take my time, he’ll be there when I’ll return.