We all grew up saying that “April showers bring May flowers.” And they do!
But, this year it is raining well into May as well. The weather has been very unsettled. Cold and raining one day, warm and clear the next. However, I am not complaining. The hot summer temperatures can wait as long as possible to arrive. When they hit, they are not unsettled in the valley that surrounds lovely Firenze. They arrive and stay, well past their welcome.
But, all this rain has the fields and hills around Florence alive with flowers! Yes, we do have flowers! Bright red poppies are everywhere, they grow wild and are a welcome sign that the fields are not being sprayed with pesticides or herbicides. On the train from Rome to Florence, this view below is a constant right now.
The grape vines are looking incredible, maybe this will be a great year for wine production.
However, the olive oil forecast is not as great. Local olive oil makers are already are warning that it looks like there will be little no oil this year. The olive trees should already be blossoming and they aren’t.
Maybe it will just be a late harvest. Olive harvest in the past was done in late November and through December. But, recently, due to the changes in the weather conditions, harvest now happens earlier.
Last weekend, was another religious holiday in Tuscany. It was Ascension Sunday which falls 43 days after Easter is often celebrated with flowers. Some towns decorate streets with designs created with petals, and others have large celebrations where you can buy lovely plants. Plus, great food and drink accompanies any holiday!
If you want to learn more about this moveable feast, then here you go:
The Ascension of Our Lord, which celebrates the day on which the risen Christ, in the sight of His apostles, ascended bodily into Heaven (Luke 24:51; Mark 16:19; Acts 1:9-11), is a moveable feast. When is Ascension?
How Is the Date of Ascension Determined?
Like the dates of most other moveable feasts, the date of the Ascension depends on the date of Easter. Ascension Thursday always falls 40 days after Easter (counting both Easter and Ascension Thursday), but since the date of Easter changes every year, the date of Ascension does as well.
Ascension Thursday Versus Ascension Sunday
Determining the date of Ascension is also complicated by the fact that, in many dioceses the celebration of Ascension has been transferred from Ascension Thursday (40 days after Easter) to the following Sunday (43 days after Easter).
Since Ascension is a Holy Day of Obligation, it is important for Catholics to know on which date Ascension will be celebrated in their particular diocese.
(See Is Ascension a Holy Day of Obligation? to find out which ecclesiastical provinces continue to celebrate Ascension on Ascension Thursday, and which have transferred the celebration to the following Sunday.)