Today as we left to stroll an awesome annual flower market in the piazza, I was stunned by the intensity of the greens on the hills surrounding us. There were so many shades and such a variety of colorations that I was totally mesmerized, wishing that a camera could capture God's palate.
Then I knew why we have had such torrential rains the last two days here in the Chianti. It is time for spring cleaning; time to rinse off the dust and cobwebs; time to make all things fresh and new; time to prepare for the influx of guests that will be arriving during the next few months, time to show off.
And, rain has been needed. Drought is on the horizon here in Italy, particularly in the fertile north where even the Po River is drying up. Casey's disappointment at having no snow this year is rather overshadowed by what could be the tragic effects of a winter without adequate precipitation. So, it is time that God address the problem and provide more water for crops and animals. But, in doing this and in His graciousness, He is adding the extra gift of beauty and renewal that spring rains bring.
Last week we packed up most of our winter clothes, cleaned out the pot-belly stove, took the wood back to the wood pile and got out bathing suits and pool towels in our bow to spring cleaning. Yesterday, we retrieved the sweatshirts, restocked the wood, once again started the fire and the pool stands alone. But, with each glance out the window we see the trees sparkle with diamonds and the grasses stand high. It is truly lovely.
And, today--as if to accent this beauty--the rain stopped for a while and the piazza came alive with the flower market. People came from around the countryside to buy lush and gorgeous flowers--soon to be seen in terra cotte planters, window boxes, yards, everywhere and anywhere. The color of the carefully tended plants will compliment the greens of the forest and vines and trees. It will be a magical time before the heat of summer begins to reclaim it all--except for the red and yellow vines.
It's becoming grey again now--tonight will bring more rain, probably accompanied by a sound and light show. Then the freshness and newness will start again in the morning and we will drink it in, savor it and enshrine the memories. It seems that beauty is more pure, flowers more spectacular, simplicity more embraced than the world we came from and return to. Flower markets are simply more fun than Home Depots and Lowe's and Nursery Lands. But I remind myself that home will be good, time with friends we have missed will be a joy, the dog will be ecstatic and our son will be there for us. Maybe we can live with feet in both worlds!
God sometimes gives us unexpected gifts. Our gift has been a grandson who enlivens our lives and makes retirement very different than the one we anticipated. He is a special joy. And that's "Casey." In 2006 we fulfilled our dream of living in Italy for a year. It was every bit as wonderful as anticipated. This blog begins in 2005 as we prepared for that experience. Since then we have explored many places together. That's the "Travel." And finally, I am a person of opinions--spiritually, politically, on just about anything and that's the "Other Stuff." Welcome to my blog.