A good end cannot sanctify evil means; nor must we ever do evil, that good may come of it... We are too ready to retaliate, rather than forgive... And yet we could hurt no man that we believe loves us. Let us try then what love will do: for if men did once see we love them, we should soon find they would not harm us. Force may subdue, but Love gains: and he that forgives first, wins the laurel.
William Penn

Be patterns, be examples in all countries, places, islands, nations wherever you come; that your carriage and life may preach among all sorts of people, and to them; then you will come to walk cheerfully over the world, answering that of God in everyone...
George Fox

Saturday, August 4, 2012


That's Lorenza, my host in Albairate in the back on the left. Her boys, Elia and Mauro are in the foreground. In the back on the right is Lorenza's friend, Sabrina, with her son. Sabrina was horrified to learn that I had no cell phone, so she gave me one.
 In both France and Italy I have come across dozens of memorials to those killed during the world wars. What were distant wars for Americans were wars fought in local villages by local people in Europe. And while time heals all wounds, it is slow to do so. My host in Albairate, Lorenza, told me a story that brings the horror of an old war very close.
Her grandfather had been a soldier in the Italian army during World War 2. When the king of Italy surrendered, he had quit the army and returned home, but the war was far from being over for him. He had to go into hiding to avoid the fascists, but was turned in to them by someone in his village. The fascists were going to shoot him, but his pregnant wife and daughter pleaded for his life, so he was imprisoned instead.
When the war finally came to an end, the fascists, to save themselves, put all of their prisoners into a building and set fire to it. As the prisoners tried to escape through the windows, they were shot. Lorenza's grandfather somehow managed to survive, but he was a ruined man; after the war he was put into an asylum because he was considered dangerous; if he believed anyone to be a fascist, he tried to kill them. 
Lorenza took me to Vigevano to see its famous square.

Vigevano's square
A friend of Lorenza's birthday party

Lorenza's cat, also enjoying 'la dulce vita'.

On my third day in Albairate, Lorenza and the boys took me for an outing on bikes, along the Naviglio Grande

Naviglio Grande

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