“And this our life, exempt from public haunt,
Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
Sermons in stones, and good in everything.
I would not change it.” As You Like It, Shakespeare
I understand that Duke Senior was finding moral metaphors in pastoral symbols but when I was in urban Italy I seemed to turn this on its head. Apologies for yet another post about road surfaces.
I spent most of my time in Florence looking at small things, very often even the ground beneath my feet. I suppose you notice things more in a strange place because even cracks in tarmac began to take on a significance. There are mountains in the gutters and landscapes in tarmac.
These are just cracks at the edge of the pavement, but there was a resonance of the Highlands. The grey horizon below is very reminiscent of the view of the Cuillins from my kitchen window at Colbost.
There were even snow capped peaks.
Ok, I’m stretching it with these two, but it’s all in the eye of the beholder.
But there is a touch of the Misty Isle and Sgùrr Dearg, the Inaccessible Pinaccle about this.
There are other delights if you know where to find them.
Birch leaves scattered like gold coins round a grate.
A collision of green triangles in a courtyard at the Pitti Palace.
My ingrained pareidolia did not desert me just because I was abroad. I noticed these horrid little faces in the mud left by a sudden thunderstorm at the Boboli Gardens.
And these in a wall near Santa Croce – three for the price of one!
And I was especially tickled by the pizza box horse poking his nose out of the rubbish bin in Santa Spirito.
My ruminations are not as noble or as spiritual as Duke Senior’s, but like him “I would not change it.”