I read an article in the National Geographic about a man who had lived for nearly three decades on an Italian Island. Mr. Morandi’s boat drifted ashore on this island in 1989, and he took over the island from the retiring caretaker two days after he drifted ashore. Since then, he’s lived alone on Budelli Island for almost three decades. He is so in love with the island that he wants to die on the island, be cremated, and have his ashes scattered in the wind.
(Continue Reading…) I was intrigued by some of the thoughts he shared, especially when he said “I’m sort of in prison here, but it’s a prison that I chose for myself.” It is a prison of sorts because although he is free to leave the island, the enchantment of life on the island is too much for him to leave behind — the beauty of creation, the seasonal changes, and the different things that he has to do. The rising and the setting of the sun, the dullness of winter, and the life of summer, all these are too beautiful and fulfilling to feel imprisoned by them. More than that, he actually communicates with all the beauty that surrounds him. And so although he is alone, he isn’t alone, because he is surrounded by beauty with which he can hold a conversation.
In celebration of the beauty of nature, our interdependence with nature, and our absolute responsibility to care for it, he says, “Love is an absolute consequence of beauty and vice versa. When you love a person deeply you see him or her as beautiful, but not because you see them as physically beautiful…you empathize with her, you become a part of her and she becomes a part of you. It’s the same thing with nature.” Maybe, once we also conclude that nature is as beautiful as Mr. Morandi sees it on the beautiful island of Budelli, we will not only care for it, but wouldn’t feel lonely even if we are by ourselves.