What thrills me today? The cool, green smell of rain blowing through every Tuscan vineyard and smokehouse, past our patio. Florence summoned us this morning to relive my past and satiate Dad's architectural curiosities. Everything was exactly as it had been, give or take a few minor changes to my favorite panini joint. Today was not about the points of interest and getting our fill of each but creating a wish list: picnic and drawing in the Boboli gardens, catch an early bus into town to hike up the Duomo's cupola, sunset at the Piazzale Michelangelo, spots of interest Allison would enjoy, and discotecas for the occasional late night. The sky was a little dreary for my reimmersion into Florence, but the clouds, questionable smells and ballsy Florentine men enveloped me with a feeling most New Yorkers must experience with the subways, car exhaust, and public urination of their beloved city.
Today we bought every type of wine in Tuscany from a sweet old man that has run my old wine stop for the last 50 years. He had a darling smile, sour breath, and a true desire to treet us sweetly. He doesn't live to work, but if he has to, he makes it an opportunity to make dear acquaintances.
The rain now coats every visible hillside with a thin slick that just barely gives the dry but hearty soil a satisfying gulp. Just enough wind to turn a page of an idle book or brush the hair back. Enough to send the parents inside and leaving me with the slow and natural arrival of spring. A one hundred year old olive tree that sits next to me has a single twig fluttering under the light stream of the rain gutter, and since this house and that tree haven't moved for a century, it appears I am watching a tiny moment of perpetual history in this little Tuscan town.
It seems quite evident that the Italian mind is primally connected to the nature that surrounds it, and this union makes me long for the understanding to feel what I sense, the highest regard for passion and the present - two words I hope will characterize this journey of mine.