The Green Immigrant Trunk
Recently, in effort to let go of things of the past and clean up our garage, I found the green wooden trunk. My father who himself was a cabinet maker made this trunk himself for our journey to "America"- the place of new dreams. It was 1955 when my parents and my sister boarded the "Saturnia" ocean liner for a cold December 10 day stormy journey to New York City Harbor. That green trunk held all we were to bring to our new life- linens and a few clothes. A few dishes and some of our dreams. On the inside, the trunk was covered with pasted images of Mary, Jesus- the Sacred Heart and many others. These images were our protection as we crossed the perilous Atlantic but more so as we traveled to a place where our lives would begin again. So little we brought with us, at least in material possessions. But we brought our memories, different for each one of us. Mine were filled with the beauty of the place I loved, mountains and open space. A doll left behind because I was told by an aunt who already had emigrated to American, "There would be lots of dolls there." There wouldn't be for a long time. For my parents there were memories of life getting harder after the war. It wasn't till years after that we would regain our love, nostalgia and passion for all things Italian. Family, food and aesthetics of beauty of small things- stones, herbs and open landscapes. These memories now fill my imaginary trunk.