" The Last Night in San Donato Val Di Comino"
(small town, with a heart of gold)
The sound of the door slamming shut echoed throughout the old house, as each window vibrated loudly; the sound of the footsteps against the gravel path from the house to the street faded away as I heard the car engine.
Each tear that fell from my eye splashed against the marble on the stairway that led to my bedroom; as I stretched my legs over each worn out duffle bag and suitcase.
I tried to dry my tears so I can pack the reggiano cheese and Italian cookies that my family had given me as gifts.
No matter how hard I tried to finish packing, the gifts would end up on the thick wool blanket that my grandmother had knitted years ago.
My heart led me to the balcony, as I pushed the door open to feel the cold, January air, each golden and scarlet leaf of November had now lost their vibrance.
Each leaf now wore a dark brown coat, as the twisted branches crunched under my feet.
The pine trees whispered to me, as if to console me. Then I knew, that no matter how cold the air of January felt, in this town, you never really are alone. Nature surrounded me.
San Donato Val Di Comino showed me the beauty of the fall, as it seemed that only a few days had passed since the sun touched my lips and cheeks.
My last night in San Donato felt cold, and the beauty of the fall moon in the sky could not embrace me.
At that moment I tried to listen to the sounds of my heart, not knowing if it was the smell of the bakery, or the conversations with my family that I would miss.
Was it the sparkling white Christmas lights of the piazza that touched my heart? or the huge, red "Auguri" sign that I loved so much? Could it be that I longed for the smell of coffee that greeted me at my friends' doorway each night? or the sound of the San Donatese always pulling up a chair for me to sit in the piazza where the wine and beer flowed?
Then, I realized, that San Donato truly is a home to me, and that my heart knew that no matter who I had loved in this town, or how I would miss the man who came to visit me that last night of my vacation, that I truly had to take the journey back to the U.S.A.
Reality set in, as I knew that my job awaited me back in the states. There never is enough time in San Donato. One week, turns to two weeks, which turns to three weeks, and even then, your heart truly never gets enough of the town.
The Italian cookies with stars were finally packed away safely in my duffle bag, and the cheese found a place in my suitcase, too!
I looked back at the CDS and tapes I had left by the television, and decided to leave the music there, in the old house, for when I return.
The sounds of Eros Ramazzoti filled my heart as I remembered my last night with my special friend, and somehow I knew that would be the last night of our love, for the distance was too great between us.
The last night in San Donato, as many would say, is always the hardest.
You never really want to leave, but even when I do, each time someone drives by that house, they will know that my heart is still there, in that house, and that each day, I think of San Donato.