Asolare is passing time in a delightful but meaningless way. Not surprisingly, it is an Italian word.  When I read the word, my first thought was the Spanish Steps (in Rome) in May. Pots of pink and white azaleas are in glorious bloom all the way up the 138 steps. It is where I asolare best, so I go there every day I can until the flowers droop and the pots are removed. I go up and down the steps. I stand; I stare with absolutely no agenda but to fill my soul with azaleas. One day, a German choir was in full voice. Another day I noticed lovers who should have gotten a room. The day an elderly woman leaned on her cane and sighed, I cried all the way home.

Sorrento is a good place to asolare. A bench overlooks cliffs chugging into the sea and Naples shimmers on the horizon like Brigadoon. The air is tinged with salt and citrus. I asolared there so long, I missed my train. In Rome, I asolared on a brick wall overlooking the Tiber and in the courtyard of St. Cecelia’s where roses surround a Roman fountain. I asolared in a field of wild flowers and while holding a chilled limoncello in the shadow of Porta Octavia. A friend caught me in asolare and said, concerned, “You look bewildered.” “Bedazzeled,” I murmured.

Asolare is hard for me in Bolingbrook. I planted an azalea bush, now in full bloom, in my front yard. Every morning and every night the bush reminds me of the German choir, the young lovers, and the old lady—and the human spirit’s need to asolare.  

What comes easily in Italy should come naturally everywhere. But my default mantra is “I’m doing is this because it is necessary, and If I am not doing anything I am lazy person.”

The azalea is called the royalty of the garden. To not show my fealty is an insult to the realm. If you find me looking bewildered beside my princess — an azalea plant not as high as my knee — do not tell me my grass needs mowing, my garden needs weeding, and my car is 1,000 miles overdue for an oil change. She is a symbol of all that bedazzles me and encourages me to seek the places where I can asolare.


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3 Responses to “ASOLARE”

  1. PAT Says:

    THe decription is so vivid.
    I have never visited any Euopesn countries, but you allow my mind to be there and image all that you have enjpyed

  2. Susan Yates Says:

    I love this spin on life. So much better than being in “fallow” times, which assumes that rest is only so that more work can be done.

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