...I wanted to live deliberately...

Almost overnight the temperature started to drop

Huw Williams | 10:18, Monday, 24 October 2011

It was like someone suddenly woke up a week ago, decided that Autumn was overdue and flicked a switch. The fluorescent display on the farmacia opposite our apartment tells me that is around 12 degrees Celsius, and it's hard to think that only two weeks ago it was reading temperatures in the high twenties. But it's pleasant, and the sun still shines most days to give us those crisp Autumn city mornings we love.

And when that switch was flipped, so was the Torinese dress code. As soon as the merest hint of anything one might call a 'chill in the air' appeared, our neighbours on the street were suddenly transformed into Antarctic-ready travellers, huddled under upturned collars, be-muffled in scarves, and looking suspiciously at the sky, as though they might need to send for the huskies at any moment. Our incredulity was only matched by theirs, on observing that we might think to still venture out in shirtsleeves.

We attended a wedding last weekend. With a watering mouth, I considered the menu, and eventually managed to make my choice of starter, main and dessert. It was then that I discovered that there was no choice to be made, it was simply telling us what was on the way. All ten courses. The meal which started at 7.15, was still being served when we had to leave, way past midnight.

Or take a walk down any street in Torino. It's virtually guaranteed that you'll pass some pasticceria with delicious-looking cakes and pastries in the window, but you'll also be stunned by how well-presented they are. You see, it's not enough to whack a few nice-looking cakes on a wire tray in the window, food this good deserves the time to be sold properly.

It's a refreshing approach to life, and we have a lot to learn from it. Whether it's dressing for the season, celebrating a joyful occasion or simply putting out the stuff you sell, the people here don't do anything by halves. But essentially, we're all the same - we just enthuse over different things.

So last Saturday my brother and I sat in a deserted coffee bar (OK, maybe we cleared it) yelling at a TV screen showing the Wales-France rugby match while bemused locals passed through, barely raising an eye to the screen. The wrong-shaped ball for them.
There's a certain passion to our certain passions, isn't there?

And that, it seems to me, is a challenge to our sense of mission. Because we will always find the time, find the energy, find the enthusiasm for the things we are truly passionate about. May God help us to see His love in all it's beauty, so that our hearts are filled with a passion for the sharing good news of that same love in Christ Jesus.

Document Actions