Everything Else Can Wait

April 1, 2014

Cleaning your sock drawer can wait.

Your FB friends can wait.

Get outside. Go watch seeds ripen. Finches flutter.  Lambs blink. Lilacs bust out like popcorn.

Pick a flower. Drink in the blue air.

Go. Now. Everything else can wait.

Landscape in Sicily, copyright Jann Huizenga

Landscape in Sicily, copyright Jann Huizenga

Two Carob Trees in Sicily, copyright Jann HuizengaSicilian Shepherd, copyright Jann HuizengaSicilian Farmers, copyright Jann Huizenga

Sicilian Man with Dog, copyright Jann Huizenga***

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Ti Voglio Bene

February 14, 2014

Will you be my Valentine?

Couple kissing in Venice, copyright Jann Huizenga

Tanti baci a tutti xxxxxxxxxxxx.

*****

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How to Pick a Sicilian Olive

October 14, 2013

Ponies a-prancin'; olives a-dancin’.

That’s how it is this time of year in Sicily.

Horses in Sicilian Field, copyright Jann HuizengaThrow down that net and let’s get busy. There’s a bumper crop. The limbs surge with bounty.

Harvesting Olives in Sicily,copyright Jann Huizenga

You can do it by hand.

Harvesting Olives by Hand in Sicily, copyright Jann Huizenga

Or use a big red comb.

Harvesting Olives in Sicily, copyright Jann Huizenga

Or a motorized gadget, sort of like a fan on a heavy long pole.

Harvesting Olives in Sicily, copyright Jann Huizenga

Olives bounce everywhere, along with an avalanche of twigs and leaves.

“Could we do this?” I ask the olive pickers, pointing to Diana (whose trees these are) and myself.

They laugh at the idea. “You have to be strong, signora.” They flex their muscles, just in case we don’t get it.

Harvesting Olives in Sicily, copyright Jann Huizenga

The men wrestle the whole back-breaking mess into the tractor and hurry to the olive press, which is heavy with the scent of hot sun and bitter soil. Total haul: 570 kilos of olives.

Nearly three hours later, after the olives are washed and thrashed and mashed and milled, out gushes the good stuff, a thick ribbon of green velvet.

At the Olive Press in Sicily, copyright Jann Huizenga

We sip it from paper cups and taste all of Sicily: it’s like fresh-cut country grass still wet with morning dew, squeezed with sweet lemons and spattered with peppercorns.

***

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A Good Airing Out

March 22, 2013

Happy primavera*!

Do you want to feel oh-so-Italian?

Then go strip your bed and throw those quilts and blankies on a line.

You’ve been hibernating in their depths far too long. (Haven’t you?) Let the stale things inhale the blueish air.

Airing out quilts in Sicily, copyright Jann Huizenga

***

*Ah, Primavera. Here’s Botticelli’s version. And to my southern hemisphere amici, happy (belated) autumn!

Boticelli's Primavera

 

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Addio, 2012

December 28, 2012

It’s not even gone, and I’m already nostalgic.

2012 will be abandoned like an old Sicilian house. Cobwebs of memory will trail over  bleached walls. Doubts will creep in. Ghosts will whisper. A new generation will carve initials into decaying walls they don’t understand.

Farewell sorbet-pink days. Farewell sunlit skies. Farewell sweet grasses.

Abandoned house in Sicily with Pink Walls, Copyright Jann Huizenga

Must you push us out so soon, 2012? Can’t we linger in your embrace a little longer?

What awaits us through those dusty green doors?

Addio, 2012.

Old Green Doors in Abandoned House in Sicily, copyright Jann Huizenga

***

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