for me who used to be a good girl. shy and also insecure. who did not believe she had the right to an opinion about many things. even though I secretly thought that not all the things that were proposed to me were correct. or that they simply did not make me happy. and in the world there is nothing more important than happiness… for me reading about Cosimo climbing up the trees never to climb down again was like entering a world I hadn’t even dared to dream. reading about Cosimo being so determined not to do what he was told to do and to decide how to live his life gave me a courage I did not know I had.
during the one and a half day in which the book remained in my hands. (and for my whole life so far after reading it.) with Cosimo I climbed up the tree branches to never climb down. sometimes I still find myself perched by his side looking at the world. the horizon. the sky.
thanks to him. and with him. I fell in love for the first time.
he taught the meaning of freedom. not just thinking I could do whatever I wanted. but also savouring the freedom given by height. by a limitless horizon. by nature. the freedom to dream…
and when an old and tired Cosimo. decided to persevere in being himself. till death. and even beyond. I felt moved. I cried. and I wished I could live a life made of the same intensity of feelings and emotions. a life made of integrity. a life I could organise as I pleased regardless of the opinions and habits of other people. a life. and a life choice. that for nothing and no one I would have ever left.
what would the world be like without Cosimo? what would it be like if all the children who live and have lived in it had read the story of the Baron in the Trees? what would we be like if we stopped dreaming. and believing?
our children. and we. just need one thing as a birthday present. or for Christmas. The Baron in the Trees by Italo Calvino. to begin with.