Today my back is to the wall with a whole bunch of "So what if you were on vacation?" deadlines! So naturally, my thoughts have turned to some of the walled cities - virtually intact from medieval days - we explored during our adventures in Tuscany.
That's Monteriggioni up front as my headliner. But we visited several, from the tiny town of Lari (right) to the amazing Lucca (Andrew's favorite bike-ride destination), and larger communities such as Florence and Siena.
But it was Volterra (left and below) that stole the show for us. We searched the town because of its story, one of those WW2 episodes where the community pulled together and the bad guys simply threw their hands up in frustration and walked away. Toward the end of the campaign in Italy, with the Allies gaining ground, German strongholds were doing everything they could to slow the advance.
In Volterra the Nazis prepared to blow up the ancient Etruscan gate (below right). But the people found out and, secretly during the night, hundreds quietly removed thousands of equally ancient stones from the road, and piled them up to completely block access to the city through the 2,500 year old entry.
In the morning the German commander found out what had been done, allowed sanity to prevail, and retreated without damaging the town any more.
Here's the thing... No matter how overwhelming the trouble, how great the danger, how purposeful and how powerful the evil - there is always something that good people can do, even in the face of incalculable odds.
Now, and this is important: we're not guaranteed a short-term win; we're not even assured of verifiable success in the foreseeable future. But the fact is the overall victory has already been secured! We can act as participants in the reality of the ascendancy of light... or we can choose to cower as if evil has the final say.
I like the spirit of the people of Volterra. They didn't know what would happen in the morning when the Nazis discovered their act of hopeful defiance. What mattered is they did what they could, when they could.
Let's all take on this particular day with that kind of conviction and courage.
Love and blessings - DEREK