As I wrote in “The Last Firefly”, the season continues to move on. And since both the lavender and fireflies are gone, I’ve said goodbye to that header photo and replaced it with a late summer one.
This summer has been beastly in Italy. Our hottest since 2003. We’re watching the crops dry up and die, animals that don’t normally come down this far into the valley are desperately searching for water, and we’re living like cave people inside our shuttered house every afternoon. I don’t dare venture out until early evening.
In spite of the intense heat this year, late summer brings its own beauty and gifts. Local garden ingredients for making Ratatouille and glazed apples for desert.
My basil looks like a forest this year as it laps up the sunlight and heat.
The fields are rolled, leaving tracks that look like waterfalls…I can’t get enough of this scene in our little valley.
The sunflowers enjoyed the heat a lot more than I did!
And the biggest gift of all: a second blooming of my white roses.
This week’s photo challenge is about merging two diverse entities. This photo is not photoshopped. I took this photo through one of our wrought-iron gates looking out onto the morning light in the trees.
Through the portal
A little passion on purple.
Inside watching his favorite wild-life show…
Normally don’t post two…but couldn’t resist this one. So wistful as he’s no longer with us.
It’s mid-summer. The season is changing. I felt it this morning all of a sudden, a bit like seeing sheep on the hillside that don’t seem to move, but you look again and they’re in an entirely different spot.
But yes, of course. The sunflowers are drooping their poor heads and the wheat has been rolled.
The shadows are longer in the afternoons.
And this morning, our last firefly. I hope he had a good night, blinking his last blinks. I’m sure he sparkled for weeks, but his reason for being has been accomplished. Farewell little one. Summer moves on.
Every time I bring a friend up to Montone, I see new things through fresh eyes. Today, it was rooftops and chimneys and campaniles. Ogni volta che porto a Montone un’amica, vedo qualche cose con uno sguardo nuovo. Oggi ho visto tetti e camini e campanili.
And a few little odd friends that live in a beautiful, modern sculpture just outside the walls of Montone. E anche ci sono pochi piccoli amici strani che vivono nella bella scultura moderna appena fuori le mura di Montone.
I had the pleasure to spend the day in Montone with a fellow blogger and new friend. Janine writes the blog Destination Umbria and her passion for Umbria, especially Perugia, is shown beautifully through her own photographs. I hope she realizes her dream of living here one day.
Ho avuto il piacere di trascorrere la giornata a Montone con un altra blogger e un’amica nuova. Janine scrive il blog Destination Umbria e la sua passione per Umbria, specialmente Perugia, e’ mostrata in bel modo attraverso le sue foto. Spero che realizza il suo sogno di vivere qui un giorno.
Below are more treasures that Montone gave us today.
Sotto ci sono piu’ tesori che oggi ci ha dato Montone.
(Ai miei amici italiani — scusatemi tanto per l’italiano…non scrivo abbastanza in questi giorni!)
Posted in Travel, Umbria
Tagged gifts of life, Italian countryside, Italian rooftops, living in Italy, moments, Montone, passeggiata, stone chimneys, Umbria, vivere in Italia
So far away.
Doesn’t anybody stay in one place anymore?
It would be so fine to see your face at my door.
Doesn’t help to know you’re just time away…
-Carole King, Tapestry, 1971.
One of the hardest things (perhaps really the only hard thing) about living in Italy is that we’re so far away from our loved ones. I wouldn’t trade living in Italy for anything else, and yet… If only we could beam everyone here for the weekend!
At night, when I go out on the terrace to hear the footfalls of the deer in the fields, the night birds, the rain, or look at the moon, I think of our family in the U.S., our friends, my mom. So many things I want to tell her about, but alas, I can’t. At least not in reality. I can still tell her about the music we’ve just listened to, which she would love. Or the full moon–her passion. Or something our little Olinka did today, like climbing the olive tree.
When one lives as an outsider in a foreign country, it takes courage to keep the spirits up, to make new friends, to keep appreciating the amazing things one has. At least we made the choice to live here. The thought of the millions of refugees around the world who have been tossed out of their homelands because of tyrannical governments, religion, slave-trade, or war…well, it’s just impossible to fathom their cruel fate.
So, the moment of sadness passes, the thankfulness we feel for our lives returns, and the good memories dance in my mind. They warm the heart. They make it all worthwhile being so far away.
Posted in Reflections, Umbria
Tagged cats, friends, gifts of life, Italian stories, living in Italy, memoirs, memories, moments, mother-daughter, Umbria