It's the last day of August. I got up this morning at 5am and since I couldn't fall back to sleep, I slipped quietly out of bed, pulled on my jeans and grabbed a sweater and my corduroy jacket, so I could go down to the View terrace to watch the sunrise. Since it was chilly last night, I figured at that hour of the morning it would be too, so I was ready. I took our little flashlight, my journal and my bag of watercolor supplies. I could see that there were stars in the still dark sky so I killed a little time before venturing out. At almost 6 am, it still felt like night and a sliver of a crescent moon still hung in the deep blue sky. I heard the sounds of a few trucks on the roads below and the awakening sounds of the cleaning crews making their way around the city. A pinkish tint was starting to form just above the horizon and a haze lay over the valley below, the mountains and hills mere shadows in the darkness. It was cool and a breeze was blowing. The scent of lavender was strong as I brushed past it there at the furthest tip of the garden where the grape arbor/terrace is.
Last night we sat there at the big stone table with Doug and Esther, having our final impromptu dinner of meats and cheeses, a caprese salad I made and the wonderful frittata that Esther threw together. We finished off 3 bottles of red wine and talked until almost midnight under the light of a single large candle. Stars twinkled around us and we all wondered what we had done to deserve this piece of paradise we live in. Today they will leave Perugia for Pietrasanta, near Pisa where they will spend the next couple of months carving marble into sculptures. They are talented and excited about what they will be doing. We have so enjoyed this young couple. Having them as our neighbors this past month has been such a wonderful gift. Friendly and outgoing, interested in what we were doing and in what they could share with us, we had many conversations as they passed our door. Several times we shared wine on the View terrace, borrowed staples or offered to pick things up for each other at the market, discussed this Italian language we are all trying to learn and the joys of living in Italy. We are sad to see them go but we promised we would try to get up to Pietrasanta before we leave Perugia and keep in touch. They live part of the year in Italy, working on their art and part of the time in Berkley, California, not a bad gig we think! We wish them all the best and say Arrivederci and Buona Fortuna.
By 6am, the sun was still not above our horizon, although the sky had turned a lighter shade of blue, and the stars were fading. A rooster began to crow and a dog started barking somewhere in the distance. The greens in the hills below became more distinct and the streetlights started to go out. By 6:30 a bright pink spot was glowing just above the horizon and all the hills became visible, layering their way back towards the light. The breeze picked up and birds starting chirping. Suddenly, there it was: a bright orange slice rising up out of the darkness. Crimson, tinged with pink and orange, the giant ball rose up into the morning and the light spilled across the rooftops and the Etruscan wall. Church bells chimed somewhere and the houses glowed in shades of pink and tan and gold - the colors of Perugia - the red tile roofs soft and warm.
I took a few photos of the grapes and the flowers and did some painting before coming up to see if Bob was awake and ready for coffee and breakfast. I have been recording the little things in the garden in a new sketchbook I absolutely love. These past few days I've been enjoying painting flowers and leaves and stones and putting them in this watercolor journal as a remembrance of our time here at Via dell'Aquila and the incredible Giardino dell'Usignolo, and counting myself so lucky to have landed here.
We are heading into month 6 now. Unbelievable. I am so aware of the time flying by and wanting to make the most of every minute before it slips through my fingers. But I have to tell you that we are more relaxed, more peaceful and happy than I can put into words (although I certainly have tried!).
Thanks for caring enough to follow along with us.
Rosemary & Berto