Words 2

Orvieto valley

One would think that the valley seen from Ripa Medici in Orvieto would lend itself to a written description. Yet analysis in words seems to elude me. Perhaps because I always have a dog in tow. Walking along the streets at midday, it is September and the summer heat has abated, the difference in the light strikes me, the way the shadows at noon lap across the street and climb up the facades across the way.

When I lie on my couch and close my eyes I can see the patchwork of fields spread out irregularly over the rolling hills. Some are gold, combed into neat rows. Vineyards where next year’s wine is now being harvested.  Fields that a month ago were brown, now bear the blush of green in answer to the providential rain.  Dense borders of dark green hedgerows, home to warblers, stonechats and tits, mark each field. Over to one side a dark cluster of cypress spires indicates the cemetery while others along a road point to the sky and cast lengthening shadows. Here and there tightly rolled cylinders of hay make you want to play monopoly using them as gaming pieces. A road winds up, a car marks its course and reminds you that if there were a person walking there, he would be no more than a speck. Toy houses sit in the midst of this cloak of fields that will once more turn gold and brown as fall advances. And then blossom forth with white foam hedgerows and feathery poplars in spring. 

These fields and hills were not there hundreds or thousands of years ago. They will not be there hundreds or thousands of years from now.  But they are there now and that is reality in October 2022, whether in a photographic image or an image in  words.

4 thoughts on “Words 2

  1. Well, despite your cautious opening sentence, Erika, I would say that you have described this scene very successfully! The photo is beautiful and of course literal but you’ve added something about the influence of that old rogue, Time: both the annual changing of seasons and the passage of epochs. Ah well … don’t you live in a beautiful place though!


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