Castello di Sovicille
Red-gold tentacles of an autumn moon
Spill across uneven cobblestones
Halo he warrior statue in the piazza
Reach through shutters
A peaceful Madonna and child
Poised above a rose carved bed.
The twelfth century castle
Breathes the night air
Whispering a lullaby.
While traveling I do not grab a camera or a sketch book, I find a pen and distill an experience with words. Years ago, Rod and I joined a food and wine tour of Tuscany with dear friends. We stayed on a marvelous ancient abode, restored over the centuries to fit with the times. We had indoor plumbing, lights, and an ambiance slathered with garlic.
We came in autumn, when Tuscany shimmered golden and cedar trees perfumed the air. Rod nibbled on grapes since wine and spirits are not his forte. I sipped an occasional glass of Chianti. We both enjoyed the food. A handful of us wandered to Florence. A familiar setting. Returning from working in Kenya we had walked the piazzas with my father. Dad had been stationed in Firenze during WWII. Before shrapnel was imbedded in his head. He showed us the Uffisi museum, and where a poem had been born and scribed on a scrap of paper.
Years later, hand in hand, Rod and I wandered the public gardens. In a small shop, I found a wooden carved chicken for my nativity scene. Memories of our children licking gelato and my father’s laughter warmed us on a blustery October day. A day later, memories brought tears.
We were at a winery and friends told the vintner that my father had served in that part of Italy during the war. The man rushed to my side and kissed my cheeks. He held my hands and told of the hardship for the Italian people during the German occupation and when the Americans arrived, the GI’s fed the children from their rations and spread the joy of Hershey bars throughout the countryside. A boy of twelve when his father was conscripted, the vintner went to work at the winery sweeping floors. His family needed to eat. Smiling through tears, he cried his gratitude.
In the middle of chaos of war, our soldiers left a gift of love in his heart. What is it I leave behind as a memory infused with love?