Monday, July 20, 2015


Al mio caro Cipollone

There once was a lady who frequently went to the gym. She was a fitness and health fanatic. A man of Italian descent chatted to her, he told her he was training to walk the Camino Santiago in Spain. Being a hiker herself, this sparked her interest. The man intended his Camino to be a religious pilgrimage, but If he touched on religious matters, the lady would warily eye him, she was there for a workout, not for a sermon. At that stage she and her family had stopped going to church, and her faith had started to wane.

The man, who was 69 years old, wrote a book about his 800 kilometre pilgrimage when he returned.

With time their friendship grew.  By the time the lady was diagnosed with an incurable degenerative disease, Multiple System Atrophy, she realized only God could walk her through this fire. Her friend, a sage, became one of her spiritual advisers. They soon discovered they share a love for the same music, and had similar life philosophies. When he told her about his interesting family history during World War 11, she said he had as many interesting layers as an onion. He said he would call her Cipollina (little onion), and said from then on she should address him as Cipollone (big onion). And that is what we  called each other to this day.

But Cipollina started losing her layers. First she lost the layers of dancer, gym instructor, and hiker.

On the Whale trail 2007

As time went by Cipollina became less proficient at housekeeping. The hostess who loved to cook and bake disappeared.

 The Cipollina who was interested in current affairs died when she lost the ability to page through the newspaper. When her boys come to visit, this Cipollina can no longer treat them with baked goods or special dishes, they have to cook for her now. Gone was Cipollina the gardener, 

the Cipollina who was the planner and traveller to faraway places, went with her.

Epupa Falls, Kunene river, on the northern border of Namibia

Where Cipollina took care of others in the past, carers now take care of her of every need. Her curriculum vitae is blank.

Stripped from all protective layers, with no more social titles, she asks;"Is my life worth anything?"

Her Heavenly Father answers" I paid for you with my Son, therefore your life has inestimable value my child."

1 Corinthians 6:20

"You were bought at a price."


  1. And below all those precious layers was the most precious of them all - the warmest, kindest heart - a heart that sees only the good in others, that exudes positive energy and is now steadfast in proclaiming the power of her savior. I have only ever known the person without all the layers that you describe above but I can imagine climbing mountains with you, enjoying a feast at your table and your garden, well, I've touched those leaves and enjoyed the fragrances of the things you've planted! You are impacting on lives more than I think you will ever know dear Sonja. God sent the wonderful Italian pilgrim to guide and to teach you and now you are teaching and guiding all of us! Know that you are loved and admired by all who know you! We are with you on this journey that you are on, be it in spirit - we will continue to pray for you and today I wish you the peace that the Lord Jesus Christ promises to those who love and follow Him. You are special beyond words - hang in there dear friend!

  2. Dear Emline, thank you for your kind words. I am forever a pilgrim and a thankful student of the Lord. He provides the inspiration for my blogs. Love, Sonja


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