Summer is upon us, settling in as a soft, warm, golden glow that stretches out into the inky evenings and paints our nose tips and cheekbones a rosy pink — a token and reminder of its passing delight. Sausalito is full of life, with gardens bursting with fragrant blooms and sidewalks bustling with neighbors and visitors and the turquoise waters of the bay brimming with sailboat sails. I'm writing this from the patio of our new home, nestled in a bamboo grove a stone's throw from our previous perch on the hill and two short blocks from both my studio and the waters edge. Our recently adopted fig trees delicate arms are falling heavy with plump jewels and the soft, jasmine-filled breeze I know so well now carries a saltiness from the sea, a new chorus of birdsong and echos of laughter and music from Caledonia street.
The past month has been abundantly full, of sunset aperitivo and bowls of pasta, dancing under Cyprus trees, skinny dipping in the moonlight and toasting with glasses full of liquid gold to love and life and the magnificence that is Italy. There seems no country more universally and unanimously beloved, and whether through a painted plate of fried squash blossoms or an ancient grove of citrus trees or the soft weight of a meticulously woven silk, the language of beauty feels more alive with each passing day here. But while it may be a tear-evoking sensory experience that first makes your heart flutter, eyes widen and time stop, it is without question the people that make you fall in love. The feeling of community, of genuine connectedness, appreciation and respect for life and for each other is palpable and as warm and comforting as the first velvet sip of Chianti. It seems no wonder that we feel such an instinctual and emotional reaction to this place, these people and this sense of care when much of the world seems to be spinning as fast as possible in the opposite direction.
There is a soulfulness that is present and pervasive and engrained in Italian culture that cannot be replicated or distilled, it is the essence of this country, it's history, people and terroir — a testament to generations of heartfelt care and humility. But there are endless learnings from the Italian ethos. For instance, what might it look like to take a little extra care in your daily rituals? How might it feel to look forward to sleep, to getting dressed each morning and to each bite of food that carries you through your day? How might pleasure be infused into your routine? What would it look like to leave this earth a little more beautiful than how you entered it?
The creation, appreciation and pursuit of beauty is something I have written about and undoubtedly will continue to. I understand this may seem frivolous and unimportant to some, little more than an obstacle to efficiency, a selfish indulgence or even a thinly veiled excuse for superficial consumption and the amassing of thing. But this is precisely the opposite of how I feel. There is no number that stands between you and marveling at the tissue paper wings of a dragonfly or the shape of the leaves on a fig tree or the color of the sky just before sunrise. Beauty surrounds us all and the recognition and appreciation for it can be one of the greatest connective threads we have to each other. Having been raised in a house of artists where ceilings dripped with paper flowers and cabinets overflowed with collections of bird nests and rocks and my mothers paintings covered every inch of the brightly colored walls, this idea was instilled at an early age. The act of creation was not seen as an elective, it was the language in which you communicated with each other and the world and the daily pursuit of it an important and necessary part of being alive. Capturing these photos of my friends, barefoot and beautiful, each wearing Perennial with their own unique sensibility was a profound moment of connection that (perhaps entirely subconsciously) I've spent years working towards. I am proud of these pieces and so grateful to get to share them with these women I love and with you.