The Muse as I illustrated the May 2017 Calendar Illustration.
The days that begin this way, are the best days.
Sunshine and sweet smelling bundles of flowers clustered on the table top.
It is Alice's first trip to Europe. She recently came into a great inheritance from an old family neighbor, Mrs. Wilson, who had no children or family, and left everything to Alice and her brother. While her brother was investing it all on sturdy stocks on Wall Street and continuing to plug away resolutely at his job in Brooklyn, Alice quit her 9-5 and booked a one way ticket to Rome. She forgot what her job was before she flew to Rome.
Rome was beautiful, but she had now meandered down the coast on local's recommendations, and didn't quite know how to pronounce the name of the town she was in. Of no matter!
She arrived last night, in the smallest little mini cooper with her bags strapped to the top! The staff was small, (maybe all one family....?), and the hotel manager took her bags to her room. It wasn't a fancy hotel, but it was certainly comfortable and friendly! Before dinner she had walked down by the water and dipped her toes in just for a moment- and to her horror- pulled it out COVERED IN SPIKES from a very flustered kind of grumpy fish, who apparently didn't appreciate her toes interrupting it's evening jaunt.
Slightly embarrassed, thinking someone had warned her about pesce, "was that fish?".. before she had left. Alice returned limping to the hotel to ask for a first aid kit. Upon arrival, the hotel staff knew immediately what she required- and further to her surprise, the hotel manager-himself!- plucked the spikes from her toes, and bandaged her foot! She felt much better once bandaged and full of full of the most delicious pasta she had ever had! She appeared to be one of the only guests at the hotel that night.
The porter/ doctor/ and hotel manager apparently moonlighted as a waiter at this same establishment, and he had handed her a huge vase of flowers from one of the near by tables as she returned to her room that night. She really couldn't understand any of the words he said to her, but she read kindness and smiles. That's all she needed to understand at this point. A very friendly hotel.
Sleep came easily in this quiet corner of this old world, blissful and full until the first speckles of sun flickered onto her face.
Finally! Morning had dawned! And the first glimpses of the landscape and the sunshine beyond exhilarated Alice. She threw open the draperies- that weren't really closed- but just for the happy effect!, flung open the french doors and the fresh morning air invaded like, well, a breath of fresh air!
Alice loved the first feeling of being drenched in the sunshine! It is an irresistible feeling to stand in the sun- in it's warmth and happiness. Caught up in the moment, it happens too instinctively and too quickly to be fully articulated.
Suddenly the light hits her retinas and her eyes shut instinctively. She forces them open to be able to fully take in the experience and the moment. The land is bleached for a few moments as her eyes adjust. Gradually the world becomes clearer. and so vibrant. The air so clear and the vast expanse feels close!- "you could tap the hills miles away with your finger tips!" she thinks.
Perhaps this is the whole reason she had come to Italy. For this moment of stepping into the sunshine. It was all worth it, just for that!