2017–18 Senior Division Winner

Festival of St Restituta – Eden Sellick

The streets are busy

My cousins are pushing through the crowd, but I hold my mamma’s hand tight

She is looking for papa

This is his favourite time of year

He says that this festival is for our patron Saint

I don’t know what it means but mamma and papa say she was very brave and holy

Her name was Saint Restituta

She was from a place called Africa

But I don’t know where that is either

Nonna says she was burned on a boat but was saved by an angel

Then she arrived here

In Lacco Ameno

Mamma says I am lucky to be born in a place so holy “Where is papa?” I ask

“Where he always is this time of May”

My Papa walks out of a big building

I think it’s called a basil Or a basilisk

A basilica!

He says it’s like the house for her spirit Where we can tell her that we love her

And where we can show we learn from her bravery

 

She died because she didn’t want to do what the scary people told her

When she was found here a woman named Lucina praised God through the streets

Papa says that’s why we walk the streets today

We have a wooden statue that gets carried all around our little island of Ischia

And there’s lots of music

And dancing

And at the very end At my favourite part

There’s fireworks

They sparkle in the sky They’re red

And green

And sometimes blue

I stayed up all night because I was so excited for the fireworks

The old people of the town say the children do not understand the festival

That we do not know the strength that Saint Restituta had to have

Some children don’t even know who Saint Restituta was Mamma made sure to teach me

There are lessons in the past

If I pray everyday then maybe I too can be saved like Saint Restituta

 

Maybe one day I can be a saint

And there will be a festival for me

I hope it’s on a good day

A nice warm summer day

My festival must be lots of fun With candy for all the children

And they wouldn’t have to follow any rules for an entire day

And all the mammas and papas would have to do the chores

That would be a very fun festival

Maybe when I turn 9 they will make me a saint

I wonder if you get any money from being a saint

It would be a fun job I think

Walking around Waving your hands Blessing people Saying prayers

It doesn’t sound too hard

 

Papa says we are moving to a new place soon

A place called Australia

I wonder if they have any festivals there With big feasts

And lots of families

I wonder if they talk funny

Do they have a patron saint?

I bet they drink lots of wine at the festivals just like we do

And they probably sit with all their family and friends

It will be sad though because none of our family will be there

It will be just us

Alone

What about Nonno? And Nonna?

And all my cousins?

Everyone else will have all their family except us

I don’t want to go to Australia

They probably only have boring festivals

Or no festivals at all

It’s probably a

Sad

Boring

Place

I want to stay here in Ischia

 

Mamma is yelling my name

The fireworks are about to start

I scramble through the crowd

I cannot find my family anywhere

I see them near the bay

I squeeze through the mass of people to get to them

Everyone is hushed

And then

The first firework goes off

And then

Everything is dark

 

I wake to find papa laughing at me

He says I was so tired from staying up the night before that I passed out

I was exhausted

Papa caught me before I hit my head

My cousins won’t stop teasing me because they think I got scared of the fireworks

I’m so mad that I’m red

Mamma tells me to run outside to feel better Last year I missed out because I was sick

And this year

When I am a whole year older

I miss out again

Because I could not stay awake

Mamma remins me that there is always next year Then I can watch the fireworks

I must make sure I sleep

So I can see the dancing lights The red sparkles

The blue beams

The yellow speckles

And all the sounds as everyone adores the fireworks with me

 

And when I move to Australia and am grown I will make sure to visit my little island of Ischia

Maybe I will bring my wife

And kids

And they will all celebrate the festival of Restituta

And I will tell my sons and daughters of her sacrifice

Just as papa told me

I will visit the basilica just as papa does

And my wife will let my kids run in the festival just as my mamma does

And then I will tell them the story of how I fell asleep

And my family laughed at me

And then maybe they will laugh at me too.