Cape Town: Three Springs in a Row: Cape Town: tre primavere consecutive

9781522853312: Cape Town: Three Springs in a Row: Cape Town: tre primavere consecutive
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I hate winter and I love summer. It is not just about cold feet, blood circulation and cervical arthritis when the weather is bad. No, it is much more than that. The days getting horribly gloomy with the drastic decline of daylight hours make me grow very sad. It is like witnessing the winter of the soul in which life is suspended, only to come back in spring. The worst period for me is not between December and February but, rather, from late October to late January: that is when I feel like I am falling into a bottomless pit. For those of you who are wondering, I am not depressed and I have never suffered from depression. I also wish to add that the geographical latitude I have lived in all my life (that is, Naples and the Sorrentine Peninsula), has never experienced remarkably harsh and /or implacably cold winters. No, as I have just stated above, this is about a constellation of events related to life on Earth which share the idea of sunlight receding... I would not mind living in a place with incredibly cold winters, as long as it has a great number of daylight hours. But, unfortunately, there isn’t such a place on Earth. Even the darkness of the night is darker in winter. It is as if a huge black hole swallows us only to bring back the light in spring. The worst moment is late October, when days get much shorter and daylight saving time ends: it is like tumbling in the thread of a night that will last for many nights. Well, I really can’t stand this, and that is why one year ago Daniela and I decided to experience the thrill of three “springs” in a row: the first was in Naples in 2015, then we moved to Cape Town from late October to late January 2016, living our second spring, and then we will come back to Naples just in time to enjoy the beginning of our third spring in a row. In fact by late January I have already started preparing myself to the “miracle” of increasingly longer days, and whenever I see blossoming almond trees and flocks of loud swallows flying over my head in early February, my soul opens up to a new, wonderful season. It may be clear by now that, if I had to say which are my favourite months, my pick would be the months that in the northern hemisphere range from May to July – the prelude of summer. The reference to Giacomo Leopardi’s Saturday Night in the Village is no coincidence: for me waiting for the feast day is a great joy, far greater than the one you feel on the feast day itself, when your mind is already on the following working day. At the end of July the magic is nearly over and the nights are considerably and inevitably shorter. This explains our choice. Perhaps in the near future super fast trans-continental flights will be more affordable, and then I’d be sorry I will not able to repeat that experience again and again: the flight between Europe and South Africa is one of the longest direct flights – nearly 12 hours – and it is not among the cheapest either. It is possible that in the mid-21st century retirees could accomplish one of the oldest dreams of humanity: to live an eternal spring or summer... But since this is not possible for the moment, this is why this experience has given me a very great joy, the joy you get from unique experiences, either small or big. (From the preface. Continues.)

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