Oh August! A month that, for me, always inspires a confusing mix of wanderlust and also laziness. The victory lap of summer. The final hurrah of doing nothing and being bored and barefoot, but with the potential for magical and unexpected adventure. The last moments of "school's out" mentality before the rhythm of "real life" starts all over again in the fall.
I chose to toast this month with a scene from the coast of Italy - a place where being barefoot and bored is a lifestyle that seems to me to be maintained with great conviction. No one else does lazy quite as beautifully as the Italians.
This is a painting from a memory I have of visiting Camogli, a little town in northern Italy two years ago in August. (Of course, I gave this girl a better outfit than I had on) Camogli for me is the perfect town to embody both the wanderlust and also the stillness that August is for me. It's a walking town - there aren't really any cars, and you enter by first standing, looking down from the vantage point I've painted above - poised atop a hill - and then slowly winding down a meandering path of stone steps dotted with old ladies drying clothes on lines, haphazardly parked vespas and many cats. This descent on foot is an easy, gracefully transition down into this village out of reality. Once you're in the little harbor, it is still, and slow, and peaceful. You can sit and enjoy pasta overlooking the sea for hours while debating where to get gelato later.
There is such beauty in this Augusty mix of the freedom to do anything and the choice to do nothing. It is a month when I have always felt a great wealth of time. How nice it is to feel very rich at least once a year and in a currency we often feel we have so little of.
So, rejoice, Augustonians, sit back, relax and watch the entire glory of the sun captured in a single shimmering drop of olive oil falling from a perfectly twirled forkful of mid-day pasta. September is is waiting just around the corner and there will be much, much less time.