The Boy – Una Conchigilia (A Shell) by Niccolo Cannicci

Una Conchigilia (A Shell) by Niccolo Cannicci © Bonhams, London, UK

Swathed in a white sheet, the boy left his room at dawn. Waking up to feel the waves and the cold water on his feet every morning has been a ritual since he arrived at the lodge. His new home for the summer is set on one of many hills overlooking the ocean. Without any other neighbours in the surroundings, his brothers and he run in the vast meadows, breathless. Their laughter echoes far away, and their eyes sparkle as if this earth was nothing but happiness and joy.

But the boy has sensed that something would change. Smiles will turn into tears, wonders into agony. Like the waves caressing his feet, it will be progressive, a long, time-consuming fall into worries, concerns and troubles.

The rest of the time he is a little boy enjoying his childhood, taking in everything that life has to offer. At dawn, he forgets who he is and projects himself living in the future as an adult.

The boy is terrified to grow old yet here he is, year after year, at dawn, swathed in a white sheet, leaving larger footprints in the moist sand, looking at the horizon with less sparkling eyes and less laughter in his mouth.


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