They’ll never catch me here, I thought, as I wandered through the vineyards of Tuscany, ducking into a castello here and there, hiding among the cypress trees now and again. The grape vines were opulent; the vineyards guarded by trees of plump olives and trees of ripe pomegranates.
As I sat among the vines, I could not help but stare at the tall hill in the distance where I could clearly see the outlines of the castle of my childhood dreams. I smiled, stood up, but decided to walk the other way, toward the grove of umbrella pines where I could spend the night.
I awoke to a brilliant Tuscan sunshine, but noticed a shadow nearby. I sat up as a stranger approached. “Buon Giorno! Andiamo!” I was led to a nearby village and fed a breakfast a cappuccino and bread. My broken Italian perfectly matched the villager’s broken English, so we spent the morning trading stories of our lives. The villager was not frightened by my problem, and I was charmed by life in the Tuscan village.
A deal was struck. I was to tend the vineyards for a small sum of Euros daily, as well as as much Brunello as I could drink. I was delighted and toiled for days in the vineyards fueled by the sunshine, the beauty of the countryside, and the Brunello.
Finally, I thanked the villager for the kindness, and was thanked in turn for a job well done. I had accumulated the Euros needed, and determined to return home and face justice. The plane ride back to the States was tedious, but softened by the Italian spoken by the flight attendants and perhaps a nostalgic glass or two of Rosso.
The day arrived and I walked up the steps of the imposing government building. After much sparring with bureaucracy, I successfully paid my speeding ticket.
I left the building a free woman; a woman no longer on the lam; a woman who could make her own way to a new life! Multo grazie, Italia, for providing me a new beginning!
© 2012 Margery Leveen Sher