"Now that I have lived in Vallingegno for many years, something funny happens when I leave the
valley: I feel as if most of me were invisible to other people or as if most of me had stayed behind on the hillside. Lately, I've come to realise why - it's because there's a cloak wrapped
around my shoulders, made of these hills, these woods, these animals ... horses chasing each other through the trees, wild boars snuffling in the drifts of oak leaves at night, sheep
chewing the cud in the sunlight, whipsnakes coiled on warm rock, little goldfinches flying into the foliage of the cypress tree, buzzards mewing high up, humming across the courtyard, black cherries ripening. It's always a surprise, when I'm somewhere else, to find myself apparently alone, with just one visible body.
Wild boar, oak, flowering ash, deer, dogwood, badger, dog-rose, porcupine, juniper, cuckoo, milk thistle, buzzard, sloe
-berry, crow. And the donkey Otello, the olive trees, the horse Raja, the apple trees, the Sardinian sheep, the mulberry in the courtyard, the doves, the yellow plum trees, the hens and ducks
...they are the non human neighbours we live with on this hillside and they fill our days with delight and disaster. Who would want to live without them?"