When we arrived, the trees were bare and the ground was muddy. Though the trees stand bleak and bare, the winter sun shines through the skeletal branches and everything seems to glow softly and subtlety, as if the world were candlelit. Tiny beads of frost catch fragments of sunlight, reflecting on the muddy brown and grey foliage scattered around, and the fog circles the scenery in the distance.
We walked many times through Vale, the biggest park in Bovolone, lined with tall oaks, bordered by the irrigation river and farmlands, complete with a lake in the centre, housing cute brown ducks and majestic white swans and nearby, a sectioned off farmyard with goats, chickens and horses. There is a restaurant and bar at the entrance of the park, joined by paths leading in and around and out to the crops and orchards further and further out along the river.
Then, it all went whooshing by. The skeletal trees blurred and tiny buds appeared. White blossoms sprouted, fell and coated the muddy ground. Green blades of grass shot up through the mud amongst the blossoms. Hundreds and then thousands of different shades of green leaves appeared and the longest stretch of straight path transformed into a great, green hall. The fields, ploughed and prepared with symmetric curves and patterns in the rich brown soil, boasted tiny green plants of next season’s produce.
I clasped the handlebars tightly, my forefinger poised, ready to hit the brake. The ground held muddy memories and deep, dried tyre tracks cut into the road made for a bumpy ride. A quick glance to my left and I smiled, my heart skipping a beat as the image of Giuseppe and Valentino rode into view, Valentino strapped in safely to the toddler seat behind Giuseppe’s bike’s handlebars. Valentino giggled, thrilled to be on a bike ride again, and perhaps more thrilled to see mum riding beside him and Papa’.
The world is green, growing and new; over and over again.
The fresh morning air rushed past my face, waking me up. And to think that prior to this, I was afraid to get back on the bike.