“On the morning of my last day, I woke to, “Ebben, ne andro lontana” from Catalani’s opera, La Wally. My suitcase was packed and I had my bus ticket, yet I sensed that I wasn’t returning to anything. I went out on the balcony and stood before the railing looking out. I was sure it would be the last time. “The bus will be at the end of the road in a few minutes.” I turned around and saw Signora Regina looking at me, “I know”. “Did you know that the view looks different every morning?”, she continued. “Every morning I see it as though I were seeing it for the first time”. “Sometimes it seems as though it is part of a different world”, I said. “Ah! You should see it when the first snow falls.”. “I wish I could.”. “Ill save you a balcony seat.”, she promised.

As I pulled my suitcase down the dirt road, I caught a glimmer of the green bus. The same one I had arrived in only one week ago. I began to think about my co-workers. Each starting their day with a cup of watered down burnt office coffee. I wondered how many times you could drink a cup of watered down burnt office coffee, before deciding to run away to the Italian country side where they had espresso. Real espresso, served in little porcelain cups. I thought about the happiness I felt in Italy, not the fleeting kind but the kind that remains with you always. The bus stopped before me. The doors swung open. “Buongiorno Signorina”, the driver said. “Buongiorno”, I responded standing perfectly still. I held on tightly to my bus ticket. I had been going through the motions of life for so long that something inside me was breaking. Not crumbling to pieces but breaking free. I shook my head at the driver. He looked suprised but said warmly, “Arrivederci Signorina”. I watched his old door fold shut. As I walked back up the dirt road, I realized I had been caught up in a current. The kind most of us get caught in. The kind powered by office cubicles and daily commutes and to do list and on-again-off-again friends and day to day mediocrity. And this was the place where I was able to break away. Here, where canopies look like white frosting and mountains like gods. Where cats sang and all women were beautiful. With a handful of blackberries, I returned to the opera singers house. Uncertain whether I’d stay forever or just until the first snow fall.”

~Author unknown

As read by Chris Brady

Only you can live your life. Live your life to the fullest~ Chris Brady