Old Soul

View from the Northeast side of Sicily, August 2009. Photo by Alexandra Mateus

Contemporary life and the fast pace of living seems to not allow us to develop the wisdom we used to have once upon a time. During the early centuries on Earth, we had to count just on our sensory experience of the surroundings we were immersed in. We cooperated with Nature, and that connection was a survival skill we need to have to remain and evolve on Earth.

Being in tune with our local ecosystem kept the health of the land, which was an essential part of living for us, for our communities. We were aware that the health of the land and water was connected to our health.

Thinking holistically about Nature, our place on Earth, and the intertwined role involves acknowledging the complex entanglements between people, planet, and time.

This mindset seems to be something we have forgotten over the centuries, except for a few remote communities. It has been even more neglected since the industrial revolution. Nowadays, we rely most of the time on intelligent systems and, later on, those which share suggestions based on algorithms.

This point connects me to a journey I took a long time ago. One day someone told me that the only way to know a place is on foot. And that simple statement was a motivation for me to embark on my first hiking trip in the Sicilian countryside.

I spent one summer there many years ago, enjoying the slower pace of life, and never thought there were different ways of exploring those backgrounds. Whether I was looking at the ancient roads, temples, views, charming villages, or mountain trails, there were plenty of hiking tours and history at any corner and a local, delicious variety of food that I could see myself enjoying in the long term.

Photography also encouraged me to keep focused and be in the moment. It has been a meditative process for me ever since. The more I dedicate myself to this activity, the more I appreciate the restorative and grounding power that uniquely Nature and ancient cultures have on me. It’s leading me back to my roots, connecting me with my thoughts and making me appreciate the simple beauty concealed within every moment.

Sicilia has a unique place in my heart. It brings a strange feeling that you belong to a place you might not have ventured to before, but it feels like home once you experience the land. It’s hard to explore without a solid and haunting sense of other lives and other times once you feel rooted with the ancestors.

We were wanderers in our early times. The ancestral wisdom should remain while we interact with our lives. Be on the off-beaten tracks roads sometimes a year shall heal, inspire and transform us.

Senior UX designer • Traveler • Circular design • Material futures • http://www.alexandramateus.com/

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Alexandra Mateus

Alexandra Mateus

Senior UX designer • Traveler • Circular design • Material futures • http://www.alexandramateus.com/

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