I Like Ravines


I do like street ravines and until recently I though my appreciation had deep roots in childhood memories. It might be so, but there’s more into it.


A few good moments of my childhood were spent playing with other children on the streets of my father’s hometown, the kind of village where everybody knows everybody. I remember waiting by the window for the rain to stop so that I could go out. I have the clear image of a freshly washed street, after the rain, with water still flowing vertiginously through the side drains. It only lasted minutes but it gave us the kind of entertainment one never forgets. (Forgotten were the expensive toys stacked in the playgrounds of a few.) We used those temporary “rivers” to sail paper boats, running street down and we after them so that we could collect them and bring them back for another ride.


That was the kind of pleasure kids knew it could only last scarce minutes when nature was generous. All the cheers and laughs died out very fast. So, I was convinced I liked steepish streets for reasons buried in the past.


More recently I discovered a sort of mature explanation for fancying ravines. Streets were still wet by the rain and the lights already on, making the newly washed tarmac glitter. It was at that moment between day and night, when umber prevails over so many other shades, that the street where I live became a tarmac mirror vibrantly reflecting our city life. That’s when I found another reason to like street ravines.