Sicilian Serenade

November 14, 2015

Sometimes the headlines make me wonder: Is there any hope for us?

Francesco and his mother dropped into my world by chance today to remind me that great big hearts outnumber the evil ones.

I went into their shop to ask if I could photograph their bright bananas and sacks of potatoes hanging on outdoor walls. Sure, says Francesco. And just like that he strolls out with a classical guitar and breaks into song–some old Sicilian ballad. And out comes his mother, seduced by the sound, yanking off her apron.

Francesco and Mother, Copyright Jann HuizengaShe joins in with her beautiful soprano.

Francesco & Mother, copyright Jann Huizenga I go on my way when the song ends. A block later I hear: SIGNORA!!!!  It’s Francesco, gesturing me back. He gives me two slices of Sicilian cotognata, a sticky-fruity autumn candy, and his huge smile.

This pair sweetened my day, my life. A small kindness bestowed by chance–casualmente, as Italians say–can change the world.

Commit random acts of love. Right where you live.


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Francesco, copyright Jann Huizenga




23 comments to Sicilian Serenade

  • Jann!! I’m alive! And so happy to finally be catching up with your blog posts! I have missed your beautiful pictures and beautifully worded posts. I’m convinced that if people engaged in more random acts of kindness, the world would be a happier place to live in. How wonderful to live in a place where people think nothing of making a halt in their day to serenade a customer!Hugs 🙂

  • Laurie Schaaf

    Love your article,Jann. So much unbelievable evil and despair in our world .We all need these sweet glimpses of joy now and then. .A simple,lovely act of kindness can make such a huge difference in a persons life. Thanks for the reminder .Wish you were coming to the cousin’s lunch Friday! It’ll be fun to see Linda again!

  • I LOVE this, Jann! Kindness costs so little, but pays so much. You’re blessed to have been on the receiving end of such a serenade. When our hearts are heavy, as they are now, music has a way of expressing the inexpressible, of bringing us together. May it always be so!

  • Keep sharing your heart light, the world needs it xx

  • What a lovely story and moment in your life. Lucky you! I love those moments that you tell us about. Thank you!

  • Just what I needed to read today, Jann. Thanks!

  • Jann,

    You see, you unknowingly proved what everyone has said, “Good outweighs Evil”.
    They saw good intentions in your quest and returned it in good gestures. I
    pray that we all will look for the good and return the good in kind. What
    sweet people.

  • cemal karahan

    What makes the world go round should be ‘ goodness ‘ of all kinds, Jann.Sorry for the people who were murdered.I strongly condemn the evil persons and organizations.

  • Keep your beautiful light shining Jann! Un abbraccio forte xx

  • Love is the strongest weapon we have against evil. It is only love for mankind that can defeat this enemy. May this love in our hearts spread deep into the inner child in all of us…

  • The next tragedy and horror and I think about what violence I might have in my own own heart and mind and how I might purge and release it; how life goes on for the living taking either the road of fear or that of love; how simple acts – a song, a sweet, a smile – can help us feel connected…Thank you, Jann, for this beautiful story. xox

  • Ian Henry

    Hi Jan hope you are well, what a great message, if only but we must never give up!! done the grape and olive bit and as always loved it
    Sent your message to our eldest son who is head of mission in for MSF in Iraq, his partner who is with him is from Paris.
    A very sad day for her and there family. Keep up the good work back for new year if you are about.

  • Robert

    Thanks, Jann. Looks and feels very familiar to me… 🙂
    God bless you.

  • Mattea Francesco

    Jann, believe it or not…the good out weights the bad in this fragile world…
    what U present proves that…..continue to share the innocence….

  • l o v e l y
    I’m so sad today…
    but I still believe there is “HOPE.”
    As Anne Frank said, “In the midst of darkness, I still believe people are good at heart. <3

    xxxxx Love from MN.

  • Anitre

    The perfect antidote for all recent tragedies. Lovely!

  • Very appropriate message today. Thankyou Jann and thankyou too, Francesco e la madre di Francesco.

  • Absolutely love this bella story. Thank you for spreading the love.

  • Lili

    Thank you for this beautiful story. It lifts my heart today.

  • Sam

    I think these two could be a big hit on YouTube.

  • Don Modaro

    Jann, could you embed a .wav file on your post so we could hear the serenade?

  • Nancy Hersch

    Great story that there is still humanity in this world after yesterday’s tragedy. Kindness goes a long way.

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