My Japanese maple tree is now in its first flames. Last year I saw the transformation as a sign of the end. Now I prefer to see it as a portent of spring. Each glimpse of the tree reminds me of a beautiful Italian word my future wife taught me 50 years ago in Florence. The word was scorcio (say “score-cho”). It means a glimpse. From one of our coffee bars we could look down a narrow street and see the spire of the abbey-church of the Badia outlined against the sky. The spire was a revelation of elegance, as my tree is now. Looking back, you realise that glimpses are all you ever get. There is so little time.”

~ Clive James.