Firenze

FLORENCE

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firenze

FLORENCE

FIRENZE_STAMPATA_A_NORIMBERFlorence is the capital city of the Italian Region of Tuscany as well as the provience of Florence.    It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area.

Florence is famous for its history. A centre of medieval European trade and finance and one of the wealthiest cities of the time, Florence has been considered the birthplace of the Renaissance.   A turbulent political history includes periods of rule by the powerful Medici family, and numerous religious and republican revolutions.   The historic centre of Florence attracts millions of tourists each year, and it was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.  Due to Florence’s artistic and architectural heritage, it has been ranked as one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and the city is noted for its history, culture, art, architecture, and monuments. The city also contains numerous museums and art galleries, such as the Uffizi Gallery and Pitti Palace, amongst others, and still exerts an influence in the fields of art, culture and politics. Florence is also an important city in Italian fashion, being ranked within the top fifty fashion capitals of the world; furthermore, it is also a major national economic centre.

Florence lies in a basin among the Senese Clavey Hills, particularly the hills of Careggi, Fiesole, Settignano, Arcetri, Poggio Imperiale and Bellosguardo (Florence). The Arno River and three other minor 3479790663_1d5feaa539_zrivers flow through it. The best-known site of Florence is the domed cathedral of the city, known as the Duomo, which was built by Filippo Brunelleschi. The nearby Campanile and the buildings are also highlights. The dome, 600 years after its completion, is still the largest dome built in brick and mortar in the world. In 1982, the historic centre of Florence was declared a World Heritage Site.   The centre of the city is contained in medieval walls that were built in the 14th century to defend the city. At the heart of the city, in Piazza della Signoria is the Fountain of Neptune, which is a masterpiece of marble sculpture at the terminus of a still-functioning Roman aqueduct.    The River Arno, which cuts through the old part of the city, is as much a character in Florentine history as many of the people who lived there. Historically, the locals have had a love-hate relationship with the Arno – which alternated between nourishing the city with Piazza-Della-Signoriacommerce, and destroying it by flood.  One of the bridges in particular stands out – the Ponte Vecchio, whose most striking feature is the multitude of shops built upon its edges, held up by stilts. The bridge also carries an elevated corridor that links the Uffizi to the Medici residence, Palazzo Pitti.  Although the original bridge was constructed by the Etruscans, the current bridge was rebuilt in the 14th century. It is the only bridge in the city to have survived World War II intact. It is the first example in the western world of a bridge built using segmental arches.

The church of San Lorenzo contains the Medici Chapel—the most powerful family in Florence from the 15th to the 18th century. Nearby is the Uffizi Gallery, one of the finest art museums in the world – founded on a large bequest from the last member of the Medici family.  I can attest to that, having recently been at the Uffizzi.   The Uffizi is located at the corner of Piazza Della Signoria, a site important for being the centre of Florence’s civil life and government for centuries  and is still home of the municipal government.   The Piazza is also the location of a number of statues by other sculptors such as Donatello, Giambologna, and Cellini, although some have been replaced with copies to preserve the originals.mostra-palazzo-strozzi

The Palazzo Strozzi, an example of civil architecture with its rusticated stone, inspired by the Palazzo Medici, but with more harmonious proportions. Today the palace is used for international expositions like the annual antique show (founded as the Biennale del’Antiquariato in 1959), fashion shows and other cultural and artistic events.

Florence contains numerous museums and art galleries where some of the world’s most important works of art are held. The city is one of the best preserved Renaissance centres of art and architecture in the world and has a high concentration of art, architecture and culture.   In the ranking list of the 15 most visited Italian art museums, 2/3 are represented by Florentine museums.   The Uffizzi is one of these; one of the most famous and important art galleries in the world, it has a very large collection of international and Florentine art. The gallery is articulated in many halls, cataloged by schools and chronological order. Engendered by the Medici family’s artistic collections through the centuries, it houses works of art by various painters and artists. The Vasari Corridor is another gallery, built 1302188477connecting the Palazzo Vecchio with the Pitti Palace passing by the Uffizzi and over the Ponte Vecchio. The Galleria dell’ Accademia houses a Michelangelo collection, including the David.  It has a collection of Russian icons and works by various artists and painters. Furthermore, other museums and galleries include the Bargello, which concentrates on sculpture works by artists including Donatello, Giambologna and Michelangelo; the Palazzo Pitti, containing part of the Medici family’s former private collection. In addition to the Medici collection, the palace’s galleries contain many Renaissance works, including several by Raphael and Titian, large collections of costumes, ceremonial carriages, silver, porcelain and a gallery of Modern Art dating from the 18th century. Adjoining the palace are the Boboli Gardens, elaborately landscaped and with numerous sculptures.

There are several different churches and religious buildings in Florence. The Cathedral is the Santa Maria del Fiore.  It is the fourth largestduomofir church in Europe. Other churches in Florence include the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella, located in Santa Maria Novella square which contains works by Masaccio and others, The Basilica of Santa Croce, the principal Franciscan church in the city, which is situated on the Piazza di Santa Croce, about 800 metres south east of the Duomo, and is the burial place of some of the most illustrious Italians, such as Michelangelo, Galileo, Machiavelli, Foscolo, Gentile, Rossini, and Marconi, it is also known also as the Temple of the Italian Glories; Santo Spirito, in the Oltrarno quarter, facing the square with the same name, which was founded by the lay order of the Umiliati, and is among the first examples of Baroque architecture built in the city; the  Santa Maria del Caramine, in the Oltrarno district of Florence, which is the location of the Brancacci Chapel,  housing outstanding Renaissance frescoes as well as several others, including  Santa Trinita, San Marco.   The city additionally contains the Orthodox Russian church of Nativity, and the Great Synagogue of Florence, built in the 19th century.

FIRENZE_3191-06-08-19-3166Aside from such monuments, Florence contains numerous major squares (piazze) and streets. The Piazza della Repubblica is a square in the city centre, location of the cultural cafes and bourgeois palaces. Among the square’s cafes: the GUIBBE Rosse cafe has long been a meeting place for artists and writers. The Piazza Santa Croce  is another; dominated by the  Basillica of Santa Croce, it is a rectangular square in the centre of the city. Furthermore, there is the Piazza Santa Trinita,  a square near the Arno that mark the end of the Via de’Tornabuoni  street. Other squares include the Piazza San Marco, the Piazza Santa Maria Novella, the Piazza Beccaria and the Piazza della Liberati.  The centre additionally contains several streets. Such include the Via Camillo Cavour, one of the main roads of the northern area of the historic centre; the Via Ghibellina, one of central Florence’s longest streets; the Via dei basilica-di-santa-croceCalzaiuoli, one of most central streets of the historic centre of the which links Piazza del Duomo to Piazza della Signoria, winding parallel to via Roma and Piazza della Repubblica; the Via deTornabuoni, a luxurious street in the city centre that goes from Antinori square to ponte Santa Trinita, across Piazza Santa Trinita, characterised by the presence of fashion boutiques; the Viali di Circonvaliazione, 6-lane boulevards  surrounding the northern part of the historic centre; as well as others, such as Via Roma, Via degli Speziali, Via de’ Cerretani, and the Viale dei Colli.  Florence also contains various parks and gardens. Such include the Boboli Gardens, the Parco deue Cascine, the Giardino Bardink and the Gardino dei Semplici amongst others.

09-20_cupola_brunelleschiThe cathedral, topped by Brunelleschi’s dome, dominates the Florentine skyline. The Florentines decided to start building it – late in the 13th century, without a design for the dome. The project proposed by Brunelleschi in the 14th century was the largest ever built at the time, and the first major dome built in Europe since the two great domes of Roman times – the Pantheon in Rome, and Hagia Sophia in Constantinople.  The dome of Santa Maria del Fiore remains the largest brick construction of its kind in the world.   In front of it is the medieval Baptistery. The two buildings incorporate in their decoration the transition from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance. In recent years, most of the important works of art from the two buildings – and from the nearby Giotto’s Campanile, have been removed and replaced by copies. The originals are now housed in the Museum dell’Opera del Duomo, just to the east of the Cathedral.

Artists associated with Florence range from  Arnolfo di Cambio and Cimabue to Giotto, Nanni di Banco, and Paolo Uccello; through Lorenzo Ghiberti, and Donatello and Massaccio and the della Robbia family; through Fra Angelico and Botticelli and Piero della Francesca, and on to Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci. Others include Benvenuto Cellini, Andrea del Sarto, Benozzo Gozzoli, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Filippo Lippi, Bernardo Buontalenti, Orcagna, Pollaiuolo, Filippino Lippi, Verrocchio, Bronzino, Desiderio da Settignano, Michelozzo, the Rossellis, the Sangallos, and Pontormo. Artists from other regions who worked in Florence include Raphael, Andrea Pisano, Giambologna, Il Sodoma and Peter Paul Rubens.

The Uffizi and the Pitti Palace are two of the most famous picture galleries in the world.   Two superb collections of sculpture are in the Bargello and the Museum of the Works of the Duomo. They are filled with the creations of Donatello, Verrochio, Desiderio da Settignano, Michelangelo and others. The Galleria dell’Accademia has Michelangelo’s David – perhaps the most well-known work of art anywhere, plus the unfinished statues of the slaves Michelangelo created for the tomb of Pope Julius II. Other sights include the medieval city hall, the Palazzo della Signoria (also known as the Palazzo Vecchio), the Archeological Museum, the Museum of the History of Science, the Palazzo Davanzatti, the Stibbert Museum, St. Marks, the Medici Chapels, the Museum of the Works of Santa Croce, the Museum of the Cloister of Santa Maria Novella, the Zoological Museum, the Bardini, and the Museo Horne. There is also a collection of works by the modern sculptor, Marino Marini, in a museum named after him. The Strozzi Palace is the site of special exhibits.

Florentine food grows out of a tradition of peasant eating rather than rarefied high cooking. The majority of dishes are based on meat. The whole animal was traditionally eaten; tripe, and is still are sold at the food carts stationed throughout the city. Antipasti include crostini toscani, sliced bread rounds topped with a chicken liver-based pate and sliced meats). The typically saltless Tuscan bread, obtained with natural levain frequently features in Florentine courses, especially in its soups, ribolita and pappa al pomodoro, or in the salad of bread and fresh vegetables called panzanella that is served in summer. The bistecca alla florentina is a large steak –T-bone of Chianna beef cooked over hot charcoal and served very rare with its more recently derived version, the tagliata, sliced rare beef served on a bed of arugula, often with slices of Parmesan cheese on top. Most of these courses are generally served with local olive oil, also a prime product enjoying a worldwide reputation.  Food and wine have long been an important staple of the economy. Florence is the most important city in Tuscany, one of the great wine-growing regions in the world. The Chiant region is just south of the city, and its Sangiovese grapes figure prominently not only in its Chianti Classico wines but also in many of the more recently developed Supertuscan blends. Within twenty miles  west is the Carmignano area, also home to flavorful sangiovese-based reds. The celebrated Chianti Rufina district, geographically and historically separated from the main Chianti region, is also few miles east of Florence. More recently, the Bolgheri region (93 mi southwest of Florence) has become celebrated for its “Super Tuscan” reds such as Sassicia and Ornellaia.

I recently spent nearly 10 days in Forence, totally exploring the city and becoming very much acquainted with its past and present, as well as the culture and people that make Florence unique.   Plus spending time in many of the wonderful art galleries and marveling in the treasures that are there done many centuries ago and still are breathtaking today.  Such as Bottechellis the Birth of Venus.

Kathy Kiefer

Schermata 09-2456547 alle 16.18.29

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PRIMAVERA = SPRING

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La Primavera.  Sandro Botticelli, Firenze

Primavera_Horizontal

PRIMAVERA = SPRING

Spring is Here!

tulipani-keukenhofSpring is such an exciting time for a gardener. Flowers are popping up everywhere; garden plans are on the forefront of the mind; the daylight time is lengthening; and birds are singing, and preparing their nests for the arrival of their offspring.

If I were to try and sum up spring in a single word it would be rebirth – a rebirthing of perennials, vegetation, gardens, and wildlife (or a life cycle continuation).

Spring is a natural time of rebirth, renewal, and hope – on the physical and spiritual levels. All humans have felt this way from the beginning of time. Spring is also a rebirth of life’s biorhythm, which means an increase of vibrant energy, an increased vitality, and an increase of joy and a love of life.
Springtime is a beautiful time of the year. Many consider spring to be the most anticipated, exciting, and blessed season of the year. The cold weather, low temperatures, bracing wind, and even occasional snow and ice all pass away. The deadness of the trees, the barrenness of the gardens, and the colorless grass pass away, to be replaced with refreshing showers, delightful temperatures, and Concerto di primavera 2009bright sunshine of March, April, and May. The summer’s burning rays and burdensome heat have not yet arrived. Spring is a delightful time!!!!!!!!
Spring seems to bring a rebirth to all of nature. The blossoms arrive, the yellow daffodils and tulips show their colors, and the trees begin to display the light green shades of new leaves. Our gardens begin to show signs of new life as the vegetables rise from the soil. Spring means rebirth, not only for human creation, but for the animals of the land, sea and sky as well
Springtime causes us think of spiritual things. First, the way God wants to bring every thing to a place of regeneration, something that we call the new birth. The resurrection of life is something special to look forward to, and the glorious newness of springtime is a reminder of this coming reality! The freshness of springtime…resurrection after a previous death…all of these combine to fill my heart with joy and hope.

spiritualit_Look at the Jewish holiday of Passover – a celebration of liberation. Consider Easter – the resurrection of Christ. Both religions evolved from the spiritual traditions that preceded them. As they developed, they embraced rituals of celebration that marked the turn of season from hibernating, grey winter to lively, colorful spring. Just as Jesus rose from the tomb on Easter Sunday, the entire world comes to life with renewal and rebirth at this time of year and brings new hope to us all.
Spring is one of the four seasons, coming after the winter, but yet before summer. Just as with anything, the definition of spring can vary according to local climate, cultures and customs. When it is spring in the northern hemisphere, it will be autumn (fall) in the southern hemisphere. With the spring equinox, days are close to 12 hours longthe length of each day length gradually increasing as the season progresses. Spring and “springtime” refer to the season, and also to ideas of rebirth, rejuvenation, renewal, resurrection, and regrowth, with festivals such as Carnival, Easter and Holi are celebrated at this time.

Holi is a religious spring festival that is celebrated by the Hindus as a festival of colours, and is primarily observed in India and Nepal, safe_image.phpas well as by the minority Hindus in Pakistan as well as Bangladesh. Holi is observed also in countries that have a large Indic diaspora population that follow Hinduism in countries such as Malaysia, Suriname, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, Fiji, the United States and several other countries. Holi is of particular significance in the Braj region, which includes locations connected to Lord Krishna, Vrindavan, Mathura, Nandagon and Barsana, all of which become tourist destinations during the season of Holi. As per the Hindu calendar, Holi is celebrated on the Phalgun Purnima which comes in February or March in the Gregorian Calendar.
Carnival is seen as a communal celebration, especially the religious celebration in Catholic countries that takes place just before Lent (seen as a time of prayer, penance, preparation for or recollection of baptism, as well as preparing for the celebration Easter. Since early times carnivals have been accompanied by parades, masquerades, pageants, and other forms of revelry all have origins in pre-Christian pagan rites, particularly fertility rites that were connected with the coming of spring and the rebirth of vegetation. One of the first recorded instances of an annual spring festival is the festival of Osiris in Egypt; which commemorated the renewal of life brought about by the yearly osiride_libro_dei_mortiflooding of the Nile. In Athens, during the 6th century B.C., a yearly celebration in honor of the god Dionysus was the first recorded instance of the use of a float. It was during the Roman Empire that carnivals reached an unparalleled peak of civil disorder and licentiousness. The major Roman carnivals were the Bacchanalia, the Saturnalia, and the Lupercalia. In Europe the tradition of spring fertility celebrations persisted well into Christian times, where carnivals reached their peak during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Because carnivals are deeply rooted in pagan superstitions and the folklore of Europe, the Roman Catholic Church was unable to stamp them out and finally accepted many of them as part of church activity. The immediate consequence of church influence may be seen in the medieval Feast of Fools, which included a mock Mass and a blasphemous impersonation of church officials. Eventually, however, the power of the church made itself felt, and the carnival was stripped of its most offending elements. The church succeeded in dominating the activities of the carnivals, and eventually they became directly related to the coming of Lent. In more recent times, the term carnival has also been loosely applied to include local festivals, traveling circuses, bazaars, and other celebrations of a joyous nature, regardless of their purpose or their season.
The Easter Season –Easter is the oldest Christian holiday, but how much of the most public and common celebrations of Easter today Summer-Solstice-Sunrise-at-the-stonehengeremain Christian in nature?Celebrating the beginning of spring may be among the oldest holidays in human culture, the spring equinox is the end of winter and beginning of spring. Biologically and culturally, it represents for northern climates the end of a “dead” season and the rebirth of life, as well as the importance of fertility and reproduction.
Fertility and Rebirth in the Spring:Most cultures around the Mediterranean are believed to have had their own spring festivals: whereas in the north the vernal equinox is a time for planting, around the Mediterranean the vernal equinox is a time when the summer crops begin to sprout. This is an important sign of why it has always been a celebration of new life and a triumph of life over death.
Pagan Elements of Modern Easter Celebrations:The name “Easter” comes possibly from an Anglo-Saxon lunar goddess, on whose feast day was held on the first full moon following the vernal equinox — a similar calculation as is used for Easter among Western Christians. On this date the goddess is believed to mate with the solar god, conceiving a child who would be born 9 months later on Yule, the winter solstice which falls on December 21st.
Two of her important symbols were the hare (both because of its fertility and because ancient people saw a hare in the full moon) and the egg, which symbolized the growing possibility of new life. Each of these symbols continues to play an important role in modern celebrations of Easter. Curiously, they are also symbols which Christianity has not fully incorporated into its own mythology. Other symbols from other holidays have been given new Christian meanings, but attempts to do the same have failed.
American Christians continue to generally celebrate Easter as a religious holiday, but public references to Easter almost never include any religious elements.Because aspects of Easter are shared by both Christians and non-Christians, they constitute the common cultural recognition of Easter — the specifically religious celebrations of Christians belong to them alone and are not part of the wider culture. The shift of religious elements away from the general culture and into Christians churches has been occurring over many decades and isn’t quite complete.
indios_tupi-guaranisIn some regions the astronomical March equinox (generally between the 19th and 20th) and known as March equinox and is thought to mark the first day of spring, and the Northern solstice (June 21st) is known as the first day of summer. In other regions, the equinox is taken as mid-spring.
In South America, the Tupi-Guarani calendar, counted 365 days, plus a fourth part of a day, needing no extra day every four years. The beginning of the solar year was marked by the rising of the M25 Constellation in the horizon, which occurs between June 5 and June 11 in this part of the world. For these native people, the four seasons were clearly identified by the solstices and equinoxes. The trajectory of the Sun throughout the year was divided into “The New Age” (Ara Pyau) and “The Old Age” (Ara Ymã). Ara Pyau was spring and summer, and Ara Ymã was autumn and winter. This type of calendar, had no graphed or written form, marked activities such as hunting, fishing, planting, harvesting and religious rituals.
In East Asian Solar term, spring begins on 4 February and ends on 5 May. Similarly, according to the Celtic tradition, which is based solely on daylight and the strength of the noon sun, spring begins in early February (near Candlemas) and continues until early May.
According to another tradition in the United States, February 2nd, USA, 2 February, Candlemas, can be regarded as the start of spring if it is mild (along the lines of Groundhog Day). The spring season in the United States can also be regarded as beginning on the day after President’s Day (the Tuesday after the third Monday in February) and ending on the Friday before Memorial Day weekend (the Friday before the last Monday in May, and the unofficial start of the summer season). In South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand, spring begins on 1 September, and has no relation to the vernal equinox. In Ireland spring traditionally starts on 1 February, St Brigid’s Day although Irish meteorologists consider the whole of February part of winter.primavera-Biessenhofen-cove_o_cgo2
The beginning of spring is not always determined by fixed calendar dates. The phenological or ecological definition of spring relates to biological indicators; the blossoming of a range of plant species, and the activities of animals, or the special smell of soil that has reached the temperature for micro flora and fauna to flourish. It therefore varies according to the climate and according to the specific weather of a particular year. Most ecologists divide the year into six seasons that have no fixed dates. In addition to spring, ecological reckoning identifies an earlier separate prevernal (early or pre-spring) season between the hibernal (winter) and vernal (spring) seasons. This is a time when only the hardiest flowers like the crocus are in bloom, sometimes while there is still some snowcover on the ground.

tilt_seasonsIn spring, the Earth’s axis increases its tilt relative to the Sun, and the length of daylight rapidly increases for the relevant hemisphere. The hemisphere begins to warm significantly causing new plant growth to “spring forth,” giving the season its name. Snow, a normal part of winter, begins to melt, and streams swell with runoff. Frosts, if a normal part of winter, become less severe. In climates that have no snow and rare frosts, the air and ground temperatures increase more rapidly. Many flowering plants bloom this time of year, in a long succession sometimes beginning when snow is still on the ground, continuing into early summer. In normally snowless areas “spring” may begin as early as February (Northern Hemisphere) heralded by the blooming of deciduous magnolias, cherries, and quince, or August (Southern Hemisphere) in the same way. Subtropical and tropical areas have climates better described in terms of other seasons, e.g. dry or wet, or monsoonal, or cyclonic.

Often the cultures have locally defined names for seasons which have little equivalence to the terms originating in Europe. Many temperate areas have a dry spring, and wet autumn (fall), which brings about flowering in this season more consistent with the need for water as well as warmth. Subarcticareas may not experience “spring” at all until May or even June.
While spring is a result of the warmth caused by the changing orientation of the Earth’s axis relative to the Sun, the weather in many parts of the world is overlain by events which appear very erratic taken on a year-to-year basis. The rainfall in spring (or any season) follows trends more related to longer cycles or events created by ocean currents and ocean temperatures. Good and well-researched examples are the El Nino effect and the Southern Oscillation Index.
Unstable weather may more often occur during spring, when warm air begins on occasions to invade from lower latitudes, while cold DOW_3air is still pushing on occasions from the Polar Regions. Flooding is also most common in and near mountainous areas during this time of year because of snowmelt, accelerated by warm rains. In the United States, Tornado Alleyis most active this time of year, especially since the Rocky Mountains prevent the surging hot and cold air masses from spreading eastward and instead force them into direct conflict. Besides tornadoes, super cell thunder storms can also produce dangerously large hail and very high winds, for which a severe thunderstorm warning or tornado warning is usually issued. Even more so than in winter, the jet streams play an important role in unstable and severe weather in the springtime in the Northern Hemisphere.
In recent decades season creep has been observed, which means that many phenological signs of spring are occurring earlier in many regions by a couple of days per decade.
Spring is seen as a time of growth, renewal, of new life (both plant and animal) being born. The term is also used more generally as a metaphor for the start of better times, as in the Prague Spring in the Southern Hemisphere is different in several significant ways to that of the Northern Hemisphere. This is because: there is no land bridge between Southern Hemisphere countries and the Antarctic zone capable of bringing in cold air without the temperature-mitigating effects of extensive tracts of water; the vastly greater amount of ocean in the Southern Hemisphere at all latitudes; at this time in Earth’s geologic history the Earth has an orbit which brings it in closer to the 20-01-2012-gissdataSouthern Hemisphere for its warmer seasons; there is a circumpolar flow of air (the roaring 40s and 50s) uninterrupted by large land masses; no equivalent jet streams; and the peculiarities of the reversing ocean currents in the Pacific.
The spring season is full of transformations. The temperature rises to a more bearable degree, opposing Mother Nature’s last few months of freezing surroundings. The leaves we saw fall and flowers we saw wilt are now budding into lush, green, picture-perfect plants. Aside from the weather’s transformations that occur in the spring season, we are transforming our lives, too.
When spring rolls into our lives, we start to pick up the slack that winter instilled inside us of becoming sloths. TheNew Year’s resolution to join the gym starts being enforced, so you’re sure to have your bikini bod back in time for vacation. No more lounging on the couch all day watching football — in the spring you can gather friends together at the park for your own game.
Spring is a season in limbo between the winter and summer months, so nothing is absolute about the weather. You should keep an umbrella, rain jacket and coat with you in your car at all times, ready for whatever weather situations spring may throw your way.

Spring may have its drawbacks to our health with fluctuating allergies in the changing of seasons, but overall it is a positive season of new beginnings in weather, agriculture and self-awareness to take care of ourselves, and our surroundings. For the same reason that our bodies are temples we must preserve, our earth and environment need constant surveillance and the utmost care, too. Spring helps us to realize lessons as precious as this, where we learn the importance of embracing and adapting to change over time.

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In many communities in the United States, once the weather starts to become nicer families get out in their yards and rake dead leaves, branches from behind bushes, trim bushes and branches from trees, plant new flowering bushes and plants/gardens, and spruce up the appearance of the home on the outside. Inside the home there is another form of spring cleaning going on. Closets are cleaned out, clothes and other items that that are no longer needed are donated to charity, or the family elects to have a yard sale, and thenwould donate the remaining items to charity.
Also in the community many neighbors get together to clean up parks, trails, streams and more to brighten up their towns. Even churches as well as other establishments do the same thing around their environs, and many people work together to assist the elderly and disabled that need work around their home and in the yard. Not necessary only in the spring, but all through the year.
It’s quite interesting to note that in the spring, as well as in the nicer weather I’ve seen many artists in different locations sketching or painting scenes, some of which are commissioned pieces or these sketches and/or paintings will become part of a larger showing of their work and interested patrons will be able purchase the work. They even have pieces of their work with them while they are painting/sketching so that the tourist/visitor can see them and buy them directly without going through a middleman.
00000000000000789Even writers and poets seem to be more prevalent in the spring time than any other time of the year. It’s quite possible that between writers/poets/ artists/sculptors and many artisans spring brings a newer reality new awareness/new creativity to their art as well as their work, it’s just as if they have been reborn as well.
In the spring, even love is renewed and reborn between couples together for a long time and those that are just starting out on love’s path. When it comes to true love, commitment is more than just monogamy. It’s the knowledge that your partner cares for you and has your back, no matter what the circumstances. People who are strongly committed to one another will, when faced with seemingly negative information about their partner, see only the positive.
Intimacy is a crucial component of all relationships, regardless of their nature. In order to know another, you need to share parts of yourself. This self-revealing behavior, when reciprocated, forms an emotional time this bond strengthens and even evolves, so that two people merge closer and closer together. Intimacy by itself if is a great friendship, but compiled with other things, it forms an equation for true love.
Spring is rebirth and delight and colour.

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– Spring –

Spring knows well the workings of the wheel,
Past winters past and winters still to come.
Released from time, the moment spreads its wings;
Infinite, it leaves behind all things,
Neither here nor there, nor to nor from,
Grace reborn within what we call real.

Poet: Unknown

Kathy Kiefer