Perhaps it was for the onslaught of house guests, perhaps for the onslaught of tourists, perhaps for nothing more than the hot sun calling me to the beach, but it has been ages since I wrote anything on this blog. And now it is late summer in Levanto (in truth, the last day of summer, but here you don’t get the sense that it is fall until well into October), and all those house guests, tourists, and scorching sun has gone for another season.
The end of the tourists season is met usually with relief by everyone in Levanto not because we don’t like our tourists and what they bring to our economy, but simply because everyone is bushed by months of non-stop work, traffic, fighting for parking spots, and packed beaches. The most important physical change to the town is that we get our Porto Pidocchio back … from June to mid-September this plaza in front of the beach is occupied by changing rooms and shower stalls, but every 15th of September, it is restored to us for basking on warm fall and winter days and letting the kids run about.
Late summer in Levanto is the time for planting winter crops, the moment for pressing your grapes into wine, the month for getting your olive nets positioned and sewn. There is a return to the rhythms of nature, which had been put on hold by the impulse of tanning and swimming at the beach. The patron saint festivals keep coming, irrespective of the seasons (Saint Matthew’s Day, tomorrow, will be celebrated in one of the world’s smallest festivals in our own hamlet of Le Ghiare tomorrow). Then there is the beginning of school, the beginning of making business plans for the next summer, the time for doing home improvements and yard work that has been put off.
It is even the time for boredom, that ever useful friend of reflection and creativity, for days and weekends when you no longer know exactly what you are going to do. A time for writing, a time for canning foods, a time for taking stock of your wood pile.
And in this, late summer in Levanto is, I suppose, no different that late summer in any other rural area.