This has been a wonderful year in so many ways. If I were a writer, I could put it into words and maybe have a best seller--but, it has been too visceral, too much touching of the soul, too much beauty for word pictures, too much of the wonderful.
One of the moments I treasure most came last autumn when we were engaged in a favorite pastime--driving the country side on the way to nowhere--or maybe it was to Firenze--it really doesn't matter. Suddenly I was seeing things I had not seen before--although the road was not a new one. I wondered--"How could I have missed that farm house? That crevice with its sparkling stream? That pond? That evocative cemetery? That charming, small village called a borgo--in its day a place of hardwork and toil for the landowner? That vestige of a life gone by?" Then I understood that all these things had simply been hiding behind lush green trees and vines; that they only show themselves after tourists go home. Suddenly emerged a whole new Tuscany that only Tuscans know is there. Secret places were laid bare. Roads we had explored in late summer and early fall suddenly were available for new explorations and discoveries. Tuscany with its clothes off became even more enchanting.
Now spring has come early, already announcing the hot days of summer. Pools are opening weeks earlier than planned; vines are growing so quickly that one almost stands and watches them happen; our maple tree, which stood naked and proud through winter months, now wears its clothes. And Tuscany is once again hidden.
Already I feel bereft as we drive, knowing that hidden beyond the road are treasures unseen, ducks floating in the shadows of a pond, sheep and goats grazing on low grasses, houses with left over piles of wood waiting for next winter, chapels no longer used or seen. Yes, vines are the life blood here in Tuscany and so they are welcomed with great anticipation but--they do not tell the whole story of what Toscana is under these Sunday clothes of green and red.
And I feel saddened knowing that next November I will not be a part of the cycle of seasons here in this special world when souvenir shops are shuttered, gelateria shades are drawn and life cycles on. When we come again, I would like it to be between November and April when life in Tuscany becomes more real and the camaraderie of neighbors and Tuscans is most felt. Or maybe--we will come back to live here once again--Casey wants that so we shall see. For now we have 3 more months to put aside thoughts of what we will leave and simply enjoy what we have.