Gina Barreca’s Aug. 20 column, “My destiny: Making sauce, chasing chickens around the yard,” perfectly describes how we are quietly drawn to what we have learned growing up, no matter what we may accomplish professionally.

Like Gina’s, my mother’s Italian family provided a strong and loving prescription for living. This time of year, no matter what else is going on, we celebrate summer by preparing and enjoying pasta with pesto, a near-ritual that requires harvesting large quantities of basil by hand. Hopefully, my fingers won’t be green for my son’s upcoming family wedding photos!

Pamela Day

Portland