Sunday, June 26, 2022

La casa aperta

 I picked up a copy of Bringing Tuscany Home, by Frances Mayes; I don't know if I've read it before - I may have - but it feels new. She's talking about how having the openness of summer life in Cortona influenced the way she lived in her San Francisco home: 

 " A wasp zooms through my study window... A bird flies in one window of my study and out the other. A bee zooms in, drinks from the faucet, and flies out. During lavender season, yellow, orange, blue and white butterflies drift through the bedroom and light on my black shirt drying on a chair. 

 La casa aperta - the open house -  rain blows in the open windows, a visiting cat peers in the living room door...  People come and go as naturally as the butterflies that drift by the mirrors. ..

.Our Cardinali neighbors bring pickled eggplant, dried mushrooms, fruit cordials, and grappa. Chiara comes home...and surprises us with a pensiero, a thoughtful little gift of a shell necklace and straw shopping bag. Beppe brings eggs, still with tiny feathers stuck to them. Lucio leaves yellow squash on the steps, Giusi arrives with cenci, Giorgio brings wild boar. Malva, a fellow Californian drops off apricot jam and home-baked bread."

                                                  -  Frances Mayes

And then I picked up Still Cove Journal, by Gladys Taber, which I just began yesterday:

"In our town, when the geese go over, neighbors call up or drop in. I am used to having friends come in the door and dash for the binoculars without stopping to speak to me. For two days a loon perched on a last sliver of ice (the month of April in Cape Cod)flexing his wing muscles and preening, obviously getting ready for courtship. Neighbors came just to see him."

                                                   - Gladys Taber

La casa aperta, in New England as well as in Italy. It's heartwarming.

1 comment:

  1. That does sound lovely, doesn't it... When I was a child living in farm and field country, there was too much dust, heat and flies for us to leave our windows open in the day, and at night we had to have screens against the mosquitoes.

    So when we visited my grandmother in the summers, across the San Francisco Bay in Berkeley, it was like living in another world: My grandma would open her tall screenless windows to the sunshine, and the long sheer curtains would blow in the breeze. There was never a fly! I could not understand it.

    My grandpa had a big garden in the back, so surely there were some bees and butterflies and such out there...? Well, I myself am oh so glad to live in a climate that is similar to my grandma's, so that at least I can have the windows open all summer, but I keep the screens closed, because the farms are nearby and the insects plentiful.