Pilgrimage to Venice during the Time of the Pandemic, part 2

At my window

Each morning, with a cup of black tea in my hand, I stood at the window and watched life slowly unfolding down below. The apartment was located on the small sidewalk of Corte Borelle in Cannaregio, the former Jewish Gettho. I loved this time of the morning.


View out of my window



View out of my window


At 6 am, only a cat was sitting on the sidewalk, just sitting and watching, without moving. The stillness of the green water of the canal reflected perfectly the three wooden posts in the distance and allowed a little fish to be visible swimming along the house front. Not a tiny breeze moved the laundry hanging like prayer flags in between the houses. Only a group of swallows moved and made circles high up the the sky, but without hurry, elegant and calm.

Each morning, the day started with a woman cleaning a small part of the sidewalk with water and a broom. With her unkempt hair and plastic slippers, she looked as relaxed as the cat. The cat followed her slowly, her huge belly moving right and left with each step. Obviously, it was pregnant. Somebody from the third floor lowered a basket with two paper bags down to the ground. For a long time, it was banging against the wall and waiting to be emptied. It was a treat for the sweeping woman, who took the bags and carried them into her home.




The green wooden window shutter opened to the left of my window and somebody watered the basilica plant in the pot underneath. A fleeting scent of this spicy plant traveled to me and vanished the next moment. The stillness disappeared with a motor boat further down the canal. It caused the lined up boats underneath my window to slightly move forward and backward, like a delicate dance, or a gentle breath.

More windows opened up, a hand pulled the laundry line in and plucked the laundry like ripe fruit from a tree. Out of one of the windows came some soft music. Another line from the 4th floor lowered down to the walk way. This time it was a garbage bag. Shortly after, two garbage collectors pushed their metal two wheeled vehicles along the walkway and removed the bag from the hook. They talked to the people and to each other. This seemed to be a healthy, harmonious community.

It was time to start the day for us too. Every day we ate breakfast in our place. It consisted of tomatoes, olives, mozzarella, butter and bread and some sweets. It was good to start the day in this relaxed way.


Born and raised in a village along the Danube in Austria, Traude Wild soon ventured out into the world. After a two-year program for tourism in Klesheim/Salzburg, she spent nearly a year in South Africa and Namibia. By returning back to Austria, she acquired a Master of Economics at the University of Vienna. After moving to the United States with her four children, she studied Art History at Arizona State University and stayed in the United States for fourteen years. Here, she was teaching Art History in several Universities like Webster University and University of Missouri-St. Louis. Now, she lives partially in Arizona and Vienna and works together with her husband for the University of South-Carolina, Moore School of business as Adjunct Professor organising and leading Study tours in Central Europe. She also teaches at the Sigmund Freud University in Vienna. Since 1999, she is practicing Zen meditation in the lineage of Katagiri Roshi. She loves to hike and to write and is a student of Natalie Goldberg. During her often many weeks long hikes she brings her awareness into the Here and Now, describing her experiences in an authentic way. She loves to walk pilgrimages. The longest hike so far was the 1,400 km long 88 Temple pilgrimage in Shikoku, Japan in 2016.

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