Sunday, 27 March 2011

I'm Back

Just got back last night from what was probably the most wonderful week of my life - spring break choir tour in Italy.  It was a whirlwind trip for sure, 9 days gone, 5 concerts/worship services, 6 cities, and innumerable sites visited, but I loved almost every minute of it.  Italy is definitely my favourite of the foreign countries I've visited.  I didn't want to leave and I can't wait to go back!

I hope to post more in-depth about the trip over the next few days - I took over 2,000 photographs and several videos, and I journalled at length so that I could share with my family and friends - but for now, because I'm tired and because my body still thinks it's almost 5 in the morning, instead of not quite 11 at night, I'll just hang up a few of my favourite photos and leave it at that.  (A parting note - none of my photos are edited in any way.  This is just how things really look!)

The Colosseum, Rome.

A random dead-end street, with potted plants and someone's washing hanging out a window.

The Pantheon at dusk.

Inside of the Duomo, Florence.

View of Florence from the bell tower of the Duomo.

Farm country, northern Italy.

Venice - city of water and song.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Promise of Spring

After a week of absolutely lovely weather, March decided that we needed some more winter, and the latter half of this week has been cold and stormy, with fierce winds and torrential rain.  But there is hope for spring!  The forsythia is blooming, the hedges looking like bright gold pompoms in a dreary landscape, and as I was walking back from class on Friday I came across a line of daffodils, nodding cheerfully, completely unfazed by the wind.  I couldn't resist - I had to pick a few!

The view from my window may be uninspired, the sky iron grey and unfriendly, and the need for our window draft-blockers still strong, but I have a little jar full of sunshine and hope.  What more could I ask for?

I WANDERED lonely as a cloud
          That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
          When all at once I saw a crowd,
          A host, of golden daffodils;
          Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
          Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

          Continuous as the stars that shine
          And twinkle on the milky way,
          They stretched in never-ending line
          Along the margin of a bay:                                  
          Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
          Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

          The waves beside them danced; but they
          Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
          A poet could not but be gay,
          In such a jocund company:
          I gazed--and gazed--but little thought
          What wealth the show to me had brought:

          For oft, when on my couch I lie
          In vacant or in pensive mood,                              
          They flash upon that inward eye
          Which is the bliss of solitude;
          And then my heart with pleasure fills,
          And dances with the daffodils. 
                                           ~William Wordsworth