Wednesday, October 21, 2009

My Last Bike Tour of The Season

When dreams come true they aren't a dream anymore. They're reality. And when you live reality, it's a strange feeling to look back and realize that what you're doing now in your everyday life had once been just a wild thought passing by. And suddenly there you are, wondering how you really got here. And can you hold on forever to that feeling of elation and joy that you felt at the very moment when you realized that your dream was actually coming true? Can I save that moment?

Was I supposed to dream this? Was it supposed to come true? Did I fantasize it to be bigger than it was? Will I be disappointed when reality sinks further in? Did I make a mistake? How could I leave 50 years of memories, furniture....a lifetime of "stuff" in a storage room in California and just leave my life behind? Was this supposed to be my FUTURE?


Today was my last bike tour of the season. And while I was leading this group from Gaiole to Siena along Tuscany's bucolic, dreamy and now damp, colorful autumn roads, I looked around and thought how lucky I am to be here. The big plump grapes have disappeared off the vines. Meanwhile, the olive trees are dancing in the breeze, the olives are turning black, on the brink of being harvested. Tuscany is fantastic. Living in Florence is a dream-come-true. A privilege. Like a mother calling its child, Italy called me. And I came.

And no matter how tiring, how difficult it is for me to adapt to Italian technology, Italian healthcare, Italian law....I love every bit of this culture and here I will stay.

Since it was raining on our tour today, we headed for Castello di Brolio for a wine and olive oil tasting. Then the sun came out, so we got on our bikes and headed for Siena, where we had lunch at I Tre Mori. The group was a family of 7 from Houston. They were fascinated, as I am finding everyone is, with the story of why and how I got here. It always seems to become the topic of conversation at lunch. Every time I tell the story, I realize what a fantastic story it really is. It's so fantastic, it almost sounds like fiction. That's how dreamy it is. And that is my life.

We dropped them off at their hilltop villa near Panzano. Francesco and I chatted in the van on our way back to Florence. And as my last bike tour of the season came to an end, I thanked God for letting this happen to me. I know the roads now. And they are mine. This is my home and my country and I am in love with it.