Years ago I stayed at a hotel just below Assisi in Umbria Italy. To get into town from the hotel meant walking steeply uphill on the winding Via di Valecchie, a road that seemed to carve through hundreds of olive trees in their terraced groves. At that point I hadn’t gotten “up close and personal” with an olive tree so I stepped off the street and into a grove to explore.
First, I did some quick surveillance to see if anyone was around who might yell or chase me off the property (because, after all, I am a shady-looking character!). I also took a quick look-down to see if I was in the company of snakes who I’ve read really like olive groves, too. With no snakes or screamers present, I started my wandering.
It was late October so the trees were laden with lots of plump black or green olives, different varieties almost ready for picking. And it was very windy, so the rustling of the leaves provided a wonderful soundtrack to accompany their reflective shimmering in the bright sun. I walked a distance from the road among the trees, taking in the beauty of those simple moments… before returning to my usual habit of wildly snapping photo after photo.
It’s been awhile since I’ve stood in an olive grove. It’s been a few years since I’ve travelled at all… like so many of you. Hopefully that changes this summer. Until then, I’ll continue to recall and paint from the sweet memories like this one.
“Assisi Olive Tree” – 2.5” x 2.5” ink and watercolour; available now in shop here... along with a few other naturally-inspired minis that I just discovered make a great little home gallery wall.