Oct 11, 2019

Known Design Co

Often I wake very early. As I lie in my warm bed, slowly becoming conscious, I become aware of the words swirling around in my head, thoughts and images literally knocking against the walls of my brain, wanting to be expressed. Insistent. Persistent. As much as I try to get a few more hours of shuteye, I know it is useless.

So quietly as I can, not to disturb the gentle, enviable, rhythmic breathing of husband, I creep out and grab my laptop and a warm jersey.

This morning I awaken in Italy, on the magnificent Lake Como, in a very special place set right on the shores at water’s edge. I cannot see it yet, as it is pitch black outside. But I can hear the lapping of the waves on the shore, such a soothing, comforting sound.

My thoughts this morning are of the Italian people and their relation to life and to the seasons. I think about the simple rituals that are so real, so much a part of everyday life. Do you see an Italian running frantically down the street to the office with a paper cup of cappuccino clenched into a tight fist?

Good heavens no! What are cafes for? This is where you pop in to your favourite local, with a warm “Buon Giorno! Un cappuccino e un cornetto, por favore, signor.” And there, leaning against the counter, you engage and chat, communicate loudly, with all who are in earshot. The weather, the kids, the meal you had last night…. whatever. You connect with others, as they do with you. You may or may not know them, this is irrelevant.

What a lovely way to begin your day, and how civilized. We seem to have lost this art in our daily rush. Would that extra ten minutes that you spend there really affect your productivity for the day? Yes, actually I believe it would, but for the better.

Autumn is in the air here, and as the trees are turning various shades of gold and russet, you can feel the change. The definite shift in the seasons. It has been a long summer, with many “al fresco” family meals set on long tables as the clan gathers to celebrate life. All generations are always included here; the ages ranging from little ones, to the white haired widows dressed in black, and everyone in between. Food and laughter are shared generously.

But now you feel that it is time to move indoors, to light those fires, to go within and take time to reflect. Shutters start to close earlier, keeping in the warmth. The hearty soups, slow cooked casseroles and roasts are now the order of the day, taking the place of the light antipasti and summer feasts. You learn to take the warmth you need to thrive through the food you eat, when you cannot get this from the sun. You preserve the final end of summer produce, to savour in the cold months to come.

I like this way of life, the respect for the seasons. There is a lot we can learn from the Italian way of life, La Dolce Vita.