Daniela Returns to the Arges

True to her word, Daniela only worked with Remko for 5 or 6 weeks in Holland. With incredible efficiency and ingenuity, she got the greenhouse company turned around and running like a well-oiled machine. Greenhouse produce and procedures were up and running and profitable in no time. He was sad to see her go, but she assured him another well qualified operative was already on the way and competent to continue the practices she had put into place. Soon, she said, he would never even know that she was there. He wasn’t so sure about that.

Daniela had never been on a motorcycle. When she was little, her older sister had a friend, who had a friend, who had brother who had a Moped. It was one of those early Italian scooters that had bicycle pedals to assist the tiny motor going uphill or even to gain speed on a straightaway. All the girls longed for a ride on the back of Flaviu’s scooter. He had long and golden hair that flowed with the breeze when he rode through the village. It made them feel like a queen when they were chosen for a ride. Bug eyes peering through his googles and face gritty with the wind, he was almost a mythical being.

She never wanted to be that royalty behind Flaviu on his Moped, all she ever wanted was to be with the soil and the earth. To make things grow, and to make life appear. She got dizzy with delight on those spring days when the first green shoots poked their heads up out of the brown dirt and leaned in towards the sun.

Years later, Daniela found herself in a village on the southern slopes of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The valley below was rich, fertile and watered by the melting snow. The Genil River that ran through the town was lined with olives and oranges. Vineyards, abundant with grapes, filled a thousand hectares on the rolling hills beyond. During the harvest of green beans and tomatoes, she was out in the fields learning her craft and paying keen attention to how they could be adapted to greenhouse technology for year round production. All this would serve her well in the future.

It was during that summer she met Romeo. Tall, and handsome he was shirtless on the tractor that day. Her heart skipped a beat, and when he saw her, the perfectly straight furrow line he was plowing went wildly crooked.  They laughed about it later that evening over a glass of wine. When he went to kiss her hand goodnight, she blushed and turned red. Was it embarrassment, or was it the wine?

Daniela was strong. She was confident. She was kind to strangers and she was gentle. She valued hard work and honesty. At the end of a day’s work, her sweat mixed with the sweet aroma of the soil, and it was intoxicating. Romeo was soon very much in love with her. Their time together was magical, it was also coming to an end, but it would never be forgotten. Their last night was enchanting. In the small hours of the morning, plans were formed and promises were made, but no one really knew what would or could happen. The future is always so uncertain. When she fell deep asleep, he left her warm embrace and tiptoed away. He went out to the fields, empty now that the harvest was over. He looked up into the clear sky full of stars. A brilliant meteor, a shooting star, went by and he wished upon it that they would meet again.

Remko tried to hide his watery eyes when he drove Daniela to the Schiphol Airport. She had a way of tenderly touching the emotions of everyone she came in contact with. He realized his tears were for her and not for him. Yes, he was admittedly sad that the greenhouse company offices would never be the same without her energy and enthusiasm, but she was going back to what she craved. Back to work her soil, tend to her animals and back to the people who loved her. No one really knows what would or could happen. The future is always so uncertain, but for now, she was going back to the Arges.

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