Chapter 9 – Belonging to Italy

Centered in Anticipation

After that enticing late spring evening when Lorenzo suddenly reappeared in my life, details and plans somehow magically re-aligned. I seemed to relax into him: his eyes, his lips, his touch: is it possible we never even kissed that night?

It was as if a window had opened, and I saw my life in focus for the first time. I think the wine also had a great deal to do with this — not the fact that I was drinking, but my rediscovery, that day, of the Moscato d’Asti that had first enchanted me so many years before, and put me on this path in life.

My connection to Italy had been forged when I lived there as a child, and I had been building the layers of my future on top of this experience. This clear, deep bond with a culture and land was an integral part of my life. But until now I had only acknowledged it academically, holding it at arm’s length.

Though I had no idea what to expect, I wasn’t anxious. Lorenzo called me that morning and told me he was flying back to Italy in the evening. I wasn’t surprised; I knew he had to return to his job. Then it seemed only natural we would arrange to meet up in Piemonte later that summer, during his vacation. In fact I was due to spend a few months in Italy, studying language and literature on a graduate fellowship, so it became incredibly simple for me to arrange to arrive a few weeks early.

We planned to spend our time in Piemonte. There, Lorenzo would be sharing the history and traditions of his magnificent homeland. And I would be learning about my favorite wine, Moscato d’Asti. It would be amazing to be there with Lorenzo, I could already feel it.

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