Wednesday, May 11, 2011

How Did You Get This Job?


The year is flying and the tourist season is in full swing.  Today I guided my 40th bike tour of the year.  You would think that doing the same thing on the same course every day would become monotonous, but quite the contrary. I am sitting in the best office chair, in the world's most spectacular office. Sharing my elation and appreciation of intoxicating Tuscany, its history, its flora, its secrets and its bounty with fascinating clients from all over the world is a heady experience.

Spring in Tuscany is phenomenal. Experiencing it and seeing it evolve from a bike is incredible. I'm getting attached to the land more and feel like a permanent part of the environment. The people are endlessly interesting. On my route I've made friends with cyclists and people from the towns I pass through every day. My route feels like my kingdom. I watch Tuscany change daily....every day there is something new sprouting out of the ground. Today lilacs, the next day buttercups, artichokes, finocchio, and then the red and orange poppies appear, and later in the season capers, lavender, rosemary and sage. I have never seen so many varieties of wildflowers.

Spring is at its height.  Tuscany is now covered by a lush carpet of flowers.  The swallows are back singing out my window at home. Young birds tweet all over the place. I pass little old ladies picking wildflowers on a country lane, I watch the grapevines going from dead to sprouting new leaves every day. The perfume of flowers in the air is exhilirating, first the lilacs, then the honeysuckle.  The tiglio flowers, my favorites, are starting to bud on the trees and I cannot wait for them to burst and share their fragrance. The olive trees look like people to me, every one of them is different.  They look like they are dancing, with their arms gracefully swaying in the air, and the color of their leaves changing from blue to silver, to green, depending on the sun and clouds.

After a day of "work", I get shuttled into Florence where I get on my city bike and ride back home over the Ponte Vecchio, through Piazza Signoria and I always thank God. I know that this could all end tomorrow and I never forget that. One year ago my future was in question because I experienced a major illness.  I am thankful to be alive. I have lived my dream. If it lasts longer than this, I am blessed. Life has taken me here. Home in heaven.