If Bob Dylan was once Tangled Up in Blue in his popular song of the 70’s, I confess that I am Bottled Up in Red in a small song of my own.
I am restless today. My soul is bottled up with a fiery red substance called passion, ready to blow the lid off of my daily existence at any moment. That bottled up feeling comes from having too much time on my hands–a good thing, I know. (I should be so lucky, I know, I know!) But what do they say about, ‘too much of a good thing?’ It ain’t good.
I have plenty to do around the house, vineyard and garden. I have vines to prune, prune, prune. And on this weekend, my husband and I (and any of our victim friends) plan to bottle two oak barrels filled with our 2007 Meritage blend. What does that mean? Well, a barrel of wine equals 23 cases of Nicolas Alexander wine (our label) times two, which means, 46 cases of wine, wine, wine and more wine for everyone!
I still have loving children to raise to the end of my days, and laundry to wash until I’m sloshed. I still have those ‘labors of love and hate,’ to do.
It’s the further development of my ‘life’s work’ that leaves me restless. My need to contribute in a fuller, more meaningful capacity that stirs my soul like the Tasmanian Devil. I don’t see this restlessness as a bad thing, but rather a necessary calling from my inner voice to shift my Buddha butt into higher gear, to do what I must do to feel whole and fully alive. The nature of transition.
Transitions are tough and neverending. Buddhist teachings remind us of this truth. “Everything changes, nothing remains without change,” says Siddharta.
Thank god, I love change. I LOVE IT. My restlessness comes from a need for change. But at 48 years of age, it has to be the right kind of change. For the very first time, I asked myself what do you want to do with the rest of your life? What do you really, really want to do with your time, energy, and love?
I know this. I want to be in nature, surrounded by peace and quiet, stoic trees, song birds, sunny porches, and punch drunk vineyards. I want to write about life in the wine country. Write about love, romance, wine, passion, death and rebirth. There’s more, I want to continue helping people during difficult times. But there is no clear path on how to do this. My path was and is one I’d have to weed out on my own, or that’s how it feels, with plenty of rocks strewn about on the roadless traveled.
The best thing so far about my transition from corporate executive to full-time mom, working on projects I love (my children of course, as hospice volunteer–helping people die with dignity in their homes, as board president of a non-profit animal shelter–saving animals lives; and as coach to women–assisting them in their journeys) is, I got to taste for the very first time, something rare, something delicious and true. I got to experience the natural rhythms of life which are founded in time, patience, nurturing, deliberation, determination, birth, light and then, rebirth. Natural rhythms that require no manipulation or advice from human beings. Real change.
I slipped into the groove of these natural rhythms, giving birth to my second son, with no self-imposed deadlines to follow. I learned how to be with life for the first time. Now, I understand how gardeners, spiritual teachers, healers, cooks, writers and artists thrive and create in these natural rhythms, as mother’s do. The process is completely organic. The mind takes the back seat to the primal patterns of life. It all works so beautifully, perfectly.
My real work now is to integrate these natural rhythms of life into a body of work, a life of work as servant-leader and writer, helping myself whilst helping others thrive and lead full lives. Love being the key ingredient: Rumi Red, I call it.
I look to the mystic masters of all traditions for a future world free of cruelty and horror, where humanity can live on earth together in union, free of needless suffering. As Rumi says, In Love, As Love, For Love, he cries passionately for the right kind of change in our lives.
My restlessness falls away when I remember to live each day In Love, As Love, For Love, all Bottled Up in Rumi Red. What a vintage!