Wine and a vineyard in Italy in a warm springsun is tempting. This time I am here be myself for a week. It is the first time. It is secluded. Far away from the village. Do I have the courage?
What was that? I turn around. Did someone come by? No, just dry leaves dancing in the wind or one of the salamanders waking up after winter. The sounds are so enhanced when it is just me here.
A couple shows up at the neighbor vineyard. It feels good to hear them talking while working on the vines. I don’t hear what they say, but they give me a sense of company.
I work too. I fertilize and I pick up branches from pruned fruit trees. I cut the largest ones, saving them for firewood for next year. The thinner ones will become compost. I am using untrained muscles. It is heavy and I don’t really have the hang of it. I am using too much force. The garden tool breaks.
Small and big birds are flying around me. I am stepping in spring flowers, although I am trying to avoid it.
Light-yellow primula make a carpet on the part of the property where shadow dominates. In the sunny part, white daisy and violet violet. The apricot tree stands with pink flowers, while the plum tree, which I didn’t have time to prune this year, is enormous, with many and long branches covered by white flowers.
It is lunch time. I am eating by myself. Risotto with artichokes and tomatoes. A glass of my own white wine. Memories of meals awake. There is something about sharing a meal. We are usually more people here and I spend a lot of time making lunch or dinner, often a three meal course.
But now with only me here, I only make one course, and the lunch break is short. I still take time to enjoy the sound of the birds singing and the sight of the bees cheering the flowers on the ground.
I find another sign of spring. An empty snakeskin. It wasn’t here this morning. I look around. Is a snake laying on a warm rock? I don’t see any and I decide not to give snakes more thoughts.
The sun is descending. The sounds are returning. They remind me of how alone I am. I am not afraid, but I fear that I will be. I think about something I once read «Don’t run away from fear, meet it with light».
I get the key, walk down to the gate, and lock it. The thought of a protective wildboar mother around the walls of the house is not tempting. It gets dark. Even if it 20 degrees Celcius during the day, the temperature falls to zero at night. Flames in the fireplace. I close the windows and the curtains. I pour a glass of our red wine. My body is tired after physical work. I tell myself, it is okay to make a toast.
It is good to be alone right now. It gives me a feeling of victory. I feel peace and silence. But tomorrow morning, I will go into town, have a coffee and chat with people. In the evening, I will have dinner with a good and brave Italian friend.