Sojourn* Italy


The heat of a summer day in Rome can be unbearable, and the day that I was there this past August was no exception. As I walked along with my tour group seeing the broken walls and pillars of past civilizations I happened to notice plants breaking through the cracks of monuments and climbing over walls and rubble reclaiming what was once a time before man. I imagined how many times this particular location I was at was rebuilt and how many times it was destroyed leaving nothing but ruins. There is something beautiful and romantic in the way in which a plant when left to its own devices as the English say, can create beauty that cannot come from human hands. Amongst these wild species was a non-native to Italy, but one that was seemingly at home in the warm Mediterranean climate, Plumbago auriculata. The pale blue flowers amongst the blazing sun and deep green cypress is a cool contrast in an environment where the bright colors of Pelargoniums and Bougainvilleas command notice. What was once an excavated site, which had become a sunken garden, I immediately felt relief seeing the sea of Plumbago appear as a mirage of cool water to rest my eyes. I could have walked into it, the color of a bleached Mediterranean sky was just perfect. I know at that moment that two weeks later or two weeks earlier it couldn’t have looked nearly as beautiful as it was now, I was thankful for that moment amongst the ruins. – Brandon George

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