E Poi? – And then? What’s Next?

It’s funny how you can build things up in your head sometime. It’s coming, it’s coming, this thing that you’ve been waiting for and as soon as it passes, whether it lasts a few hours or a few days, as soon as it’s over you either keep on truckin’ along as if nothing special has happened, or you feel like you just tripped over a rock and fell off a cliff.

At least that’s how I feel these days. The whirl wind of traveling in August immediately followed by visitors, the harvest, and the festival suddenly disappeared. As soon as the wine festival was over, Giulio and Jordan parted ways the next day, and the cold, foggy, reality set back in. The last warm sunny summer weather lasted just until the end of the festival. The center, while still full of parked cars, the regulars sitting outside the local bar in the morning bundled up in their in their winter jackets made for a typical scene of what winter looks like in Cupramontana. What perhaps made this a little different was the food/wine stands left half standing after the festival, boarded up, empty, and in the process of being taken down. And the fog…oh the fog…it was intense. All of this seemed like the perfect movie setting for some sad aftermath scene. The void of human life but evidence of what nearly 25,000 people over three days left behind. As I was thinking how sad I suddenly felt, Corrado interrupted my thoughts to say, “The first 2-3 days after the festival are always really sad and depressing.” However, I don’t remember feeling this way last year. Maybe it was because everything was new to me and we still had some harvesting to do so we had that to keep us occupied.

Sad Giovanni in the cellar. Or sleepy. Probably the latter

When we arrived at the cellar, I couldn’t help but feel so empty now that Giulio had left. He was so much a part of our team and the family here. I always feel a little bit of a noob with Corrado and Giovanni being the experts that they are. Since Giulio is still a student I felt like I had someone to learn along with me. Plus, who else do I have to laugh at my dumb jokes or weird quirks now? For the first time since June, it was just Corrado, Giovanni, and I in the cellar. I thought about how much I have experienced since then. It seems like a year’s worth of memories and adventures occurred in just the 2 months I was away.

Giulia waiting in the car to go to school. Perfect example of life’s random moments. Who knew a car window would make such nice lighting? Taken with my terrible phone camera.

This whole idea of the passage of time has really occupied my mind lately on so many levels, whether it be my physical presence in Italy, my emotional health, or the growth of Giulia and Giaccomo. For a moment I felt like I was being left behind standing on the outside watching time by and looking into the future to see what I know will come too soon to pass as well.

Just as I am making strides with photography opportunities, I’ll be off to England. Damn visas. I was asked for prices for my photos with one of the largest wine producers in the area and was contacted by a wine journalist who liked my photos and wanted to work on a project with me. Things I have always dreamed of doing for work and now I’m off to another country.  What worries me most is that I am not sure when I will be back here at La Distesa or Italy in general. With that thought, I’m afraid of the good byes I will have to say. At the same time I’m looking forward to what is coming my way. Hanging with an old friend in England for a while before meeting up with another in Thailand. I am excited for the memories and familiar companionship, but still sad to leave behind my Italian home.

I’ve decided that I should worry less what I’m leaving behind and continue to enjoy what time I do have left here. And to not worry too much about whether or not I am coming back. I feel confident that whatever direction I choose to continue with will continue to hold many more opportunities. I’m really hoping that future direction comes with vacation time as I hope to try to come back for as many harvests as I can at La Distesa. I am extremely thankful for everything that I have learned and experienced at La Distesa. The memories and companionship will certainly never be forgotten and a place I will leave a very large chunk of my heart with.

Good morning from the vineyard!

Enough of this sappy stuff. I’m thankful to be alive, thankful for where I am, thankful for the people in my life, and thankful for the privilege of having endless opportunities that await me. Carpe Diem! Onto the Olive harvest!


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