Today it was a perfect summer day. It was hot but not unpleasant: it was sunny and there was a cool breeze covering the olive trees in a thin yellow dust. We spent the whole morning in the countryside painting the fences and watching our dogs chase lizards. I did something that I rarely have a chance to do at the weekend: I sat down on one of the lounge chairs under the tall oak trees in the garden and read a few pages of a novel by Victoria Hislop, The Return: a bit of time for me alone… well… for me, the birds, a hen happily announcing the arrival of her new egg, a cow that didn’t sound too happy about her life, a few bugs and my dog.
Then all of a sudden the sky beyond the hilltop where Civitella Marittima, our village, sits went dark. Thunder could be heard in the distance. It didn’t take long for the storm to arrive from Monte Amiata. The countryside suddenly went silent. No cheerful birds, no grumpy cows, no happy hens. Just lowering clouds quickly gathering over the village and over our house, and the rumble of thunder. The rain came “wrapped up” in a whirlwind, with more thunder and lightning. The storm didn’t last more than 20 minutes and left us with a brighter, dazzling sun. All of a sudden the air was cool and clear; a thin, smoke-like steam covered the roads; a distinctive smell of wet straw and earth filled the air.
It was sunset already and while the western sky glimmered over the vineyard colouring the vines in an intense pink, to the east, a beautiful red full moon was raising in a bright blue sky over the silver olive trees.
Just another perfect summer day in the Maremma.
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