Simon watches over his head, to the clouds reflecting down in his goat milk when a dark shadow appears in his glass; a reflection, so similar to the shape of a big fly, swimming in that small ocean of milk. Simon covers his eyes from the sunlight with a hand, to have a better look at the sky.
“Tonight, it’ll rain.”
The vine leaves, tiny natural pentagons, start rustling all around him as they’d heard his voice. The wind is leaves’ language. Sixty years old and five feet tall, son of immigrants, Simon has Sicilian blood pumping in his veins. Someone, God knows why, decided to deliver him here, in La Mancha, Spain.
No windmill to attack
He chose not to attack the windmills, but to work hard this land, as generous as poor of water. Yes, the drought, this chronic lack of water, sometimes drives you mad. You just want to escape, as many others did already before, following the rainy clouds, moving North. Simon is one of the few that decided to remain here, his life bound up with this land.
“Vinegar, that’s just vinegar.”
That’s what they kept telling him to the village, laughing at him. Simon didn’t give up. He understood the value of books, the force of that knowledge that seemed so useless when he was younger. Those books showed him the secrets, proving to him that that land can produce a good wine.
Oh, that was a day he will never forget. His first wine didn’t cry; it was yellowish and transparent, innocent, but it was wine! He slapped the bottom of the bottle, as it was a newborn, before pouring it in the first glass he grabbed around. Then he splashes his nose, his hair even, inside that glass. Wine!
Airen, someone already named this newborn before him. A wine straw-colored, with African sweet smells mixed together with some sour taste, oranges-like. He wanted to think that was coming from his blood, his forgotten Sicily.
Simon drinks another sip of milk, as he always does before going to bed. The land it’s all the company he needs; no wife or sons, no nephews. He married his land and its creatures, plants, and animals long ago and never regrets it.
The fly, that black spot in the sky, finally reaches the bottom of his cup. It seems it grew from where he spotted before, more similar now to a grey cotton ball, a curl reflected inside his empty cup. Those clouds shifting shapes and colors in the sky mean one thing only:
Water is coming
The wind seems to read his thoughts again and blow fast and high in the sky, mixing clouds over clouds, grey over grey. The shadows reflected on the plateau remind the shape of an immense brain. A slow cloud eclipse trims the land, the shadows and the smells of the upcoming storm moving slowly down to the ground. The space between Simon and the sky gets darker and darker every moment that comes.
“This wine will taste as a storm.”
Says Simon, whispering and the leaves answer him back with the palms of their green hands, as to tell him they agree. The branches tremble under his palms while he touches them, coming back home. Simon doesn’t fear water, the plants are deep-rooted and he trusts them. As he learned how to trust this land, hard as concrete, which it would make blaspheme even a monk.
And yet, when the wind blows under that carpet called storm and walks on top of the grass, this land becomes suddenly vibrant and sensual.
Now it’s time to go inside. Simon throws the last drops of milk to the ground since he learned to share everything with it. He opens the door, switches on a lamp with yellow light and locks it behind. The animals are repaired and the old dog, Sancho, sleeps in his doghouse.
He takes a glass, pours two fingers of milk and smells it without opening his eyes. Who knows what people might think if they knew that he never tried his own wine? About all those sounds outside the windows, he cares only about the smells his wine will learn from the rain.
“Yes, this wine will taste as a storm.”
He whispers again, throwing his head behind and finally enjoying the voice of the rain, which starts tapping on the windows.
Do you want to know more about this project, Vinoè? Go to the description of the project here. Next week a story will follow, with all the information you just learned in it! That will help you better remember all the details that today you thought there were insignificant. When writing a story, the details are what really matter to make the story believable and so it’s the same to learn better and faster.