The moment Patrick opened the door, heat punched him in the chest, so heavy with moisture he had to lean on the car to withstand it. A few yards away, grapevines shimmered in the bright sunlight as they marched like stiff toy soldiers toward blue-shrouded heights.
“Germans,” he muttered, shaking his head.
Well, those rows were the reason he was here. He struggled forward through liquid air and fingered a leaf edged with brown, tested the weight of a clump of grapes. Very different from those he knew from home, the ones whose contours and colors he knew better than his own face.
And this was supposed to be his big chance?
Whenever God closes a door, He opens a window, his mother’s voice whispered.
Yeah, right. If God was anywhere in his life, he sure was hiding pretty well.
He retreated to the shade of a line of trees grown wild and unkempt along the property line. The smell of half-dry leaves rose to meet him as he sat and rested against rough bark. Behind his eyelids floated a vision of green eyes that saw right to the core of his being. Don’t lose faith now, they seemed to say.
Fine. Patrick turned his hands upward. “If you’re there, prove it,” he said defiantly.
For a moment, all was still. Then a breeze whispered, rose, passing from one treetop to the next. A rain of gold fell all around him, and a single yellow leaf came to rest on his palm.