Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Raking Light

Yesterday, I learned this is the best kind of light for, well, raking.

After 3 days of intense rain, the weather broke to gorgeous autumn weather and everyone converged on the property to get the water system, roads, excavating, etc. almost almost done. Quasi finito as they say. It was a big, big day.

While I stained the upstairs cement floors with my secret non-acid-wash recipes (to be revealed in another blog): Cesare and two other electricians installed the 3 water system pumps: household, cistern, and waste water purifier (Yes, we will reuse every drop.); Alvaro, the excavator, fixed most of the road damaged by cement and delivery trucks, and sculpted most of the scarpata (the hill of spoil that had to be removed to plant our house in its hillside); and father and son carpenter team, Ierio and Roberto Perugini delivered the persiennes (louvered shutters ubiquitous to this area) which they and the Brandinis will install tomorrow!

But perhaps the biggest event of the day was seeing the Brandini’s tear down the orange security fence. It was a little like ripping open a birthday gift. After one year and one month, the cantiere, the worksite, is now officially open. And just in time for our IKEA kitchen to be delivered and installed on Wednesday.

Which brings me back to that certain cant of light. Because of all the mud I don't want IKEA to track in on my newly stained and sealed floors, I began spreading clean sand around the entrances where sticky fango (mud) would get tracked in from the newly leveled “front yard.” Then I realized that because the clay was soft and pliable and not yet packed and baked hard by the sun, it would be much easier to do whatever grading and leveling I needed to do RIGHT NOW, TODAY! So, as everyone else was finishing their day, I raked the whole thing out. As you can see from the first shot, by bringing everything into relief the contrasting low-angle light of the late day sun really helped me get it level and smooth.

And speaking of relief: I didn’t realize I'd forgotten all about my leg until I was pulling into the drive at Villore, well past sundown. There is no euphoria like that which floods you when chronic pain abates.

I used the banged up rusty rake head I brought over in my suitcase. It's nothing special, I've just had it for 30 years and 3 gardens. Note the nuts, bolts, screws and baling wire needed to attached it to an Italian handle after it broke. Very contadino.

Maybe it's me, or maybe it's Tuscany, but I think just mending a broken rake handle, and then using it, can be a soulful enterprise.

Tomorrow: IKEA!

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