I heard it this morning… a high pressure area (anticyclone) is coming towards Tuscany from the Azores. This means sunny, mild weather at least until Sunday – maybe for the whole next week. Yes, please!
When moving to Italy, one of the first differences I noted between me (German) and Tuscans, was the completely different approach to spring. In Germany things have always been easy. Winter was cold, one had to wear warm clothes, there was central heating everywhere (not so in Tuscany), the low temperatures never leave any doubt about the season. Spring announced its entry with the first, most common spring flower: the daisy. Actually, there were also snowdrops and cowslips. These were the signs; still cold but spring was about to push the door handle down and enter into our world. And Northerners, trustful to their origin, would have been deeply grateful that the Green Man, once again,
had saved mankind from the chilly clutches of winter. In Tuscany, I found things to be totally different because the beginning of spring was a complete mystery to me. The 21th of March, of course, but this was just a pro forma date without any value. February could turn up with sunny warm days, beginning of March, too. The climate in Tuscany is not suitable for snowdrops or cowslips and daisies would grow all over the year! So how could
one understand when spring starts? Easy…from the shop windows! From where else?? It’s like magic…from one day to the other, and it does not seem to depend on the weather, spring is there bringing lovely, colorful, stylish skirts, shirts, trousers, shoes and belts. They are soft and light like feathers promising new life, new love, fun. No other season of the year reveals more who is a foreigner and who an Italian: whereas the first is deeply feeling the new season, the second is wearing it. And at that point, an authentic Italian would in no case return to winter clothes or a warm coat, not even if the temperature would drop down considerably. After quite a lot of years, I found out that here spring is not worth a rush and if it was not for the new fashion collections, people
would probably ignore it completely. Whilst Northerners pay court to the most promising season of the year through all kinds of celebrations, Italians would rather complain where the hell it has been and why it had taken so long to show up! In thirty years, after having absorbed just about everything one can about Tuscany I am able to feel and think like the people who live in this lovely piece of earth. But when spring comes, my deep rooted pagan
origin gushes forth and flows right into the air to become one with the gorgeous flowers, the tender leaves of bushes and trees, the apple, peach and almond blossoms. Yes, I am Italianized, but with fervent ancestor’s blood flushing through my veins and a heart filled with thankfulness that this year, too, spring has come to lighten up my days and my life! It is stronger than me, every day I must go outside and walk through the fresh green. I need to smell, touch and taste it and cannot return home without a big bunch of flowers gathered in the fields and forests. These all find a place in vases which I distribute throughout my house to make sure that spring is around me everywhere.
And now, let me have a look at my wardrobe…
Anneliese Rabl …. finding a life in Tuscany