22 March 2008
No Easter without leaves
Venetians have an expression: Non ghe se Pasqua senza fogia, ne dona senza vogia.
"There is no Easter without leaves, and no woman without desires."
I know one simply doesn’t say such a thing, but…
I’m not a big fan of spring. Not my favorite colors, not the sort of images and anticipations I like, not the weather I prefer. I’m more the sweaters & autumn leaves kinda gal. (My willingness to give up even one glorious October day in Central Park showed my true devotion to La Serenissima last year.)
Other than the Fifth Avenue Easter Parade, I don’t care for Easter much either. It always strikes me as macabre – the gruesome story commemorated in pastel icing sugar and fake flowers. In the cheery, childish trappings of this holiday, all I see is the ham-fist of the Church as it commandeered and twisted ancient and beautiful pagan traditions for its own ends. (For Heaven’s sake, people! “Easter Bunny,” “Ostara hare…” think about it!)
But the Venetians certainly got that proverb right. It’s the female version of “In spring a young man’s fancy… “
Alas, this woman finds herself with many far-fetched and very elusive springtime desires, and few means to obtain them. Spring arrived here in Venice much too quickly for me.