I came home from Panama with a renewed passion for living, a hunger for a higher level of engagement with life. I don’t know why I came home with my soul-stirring. Was it the colors of Panama that made me aware of the lack of it in my home? Was it the poverty that made me question the waste I allow day in and day out in Sonoma? Was it Panama’s sweet slowness that made me want to soak up every drop of each day in a far too busy and overly scheduled existence? Clearly, I had buried my passions during the grey, dreary months of winter. Perhaps even longer than that, could it be years?
In the past, if you were to ask me what word best described my essence, my true nature, I would have said passion. But here I was, slowly rocking myself to sleep with the predictable wintry weather and never-ending routine.
Panama, with its tropical rainbow personality, its close to the ground, ‘in your face’ living, its fertile rainforest terrain, its lack of concept in time and space, simply took, shook and woke me from my sedated stupor. I came home, awoken to lush wine country, to Spring in the air, to the sun warming the vines, nurturing the flowers, feeding the birds and sunning the trees; Nature’s passion further fueled my wanton desire to expand the person I was meant to be; take higher my place in life and at the same time, lose myself in it all.
I remember, Henry Miller, the American novelist once wrote, “Develop an interest in life as you see it; the people, things, literature, music-the world is so rich, simply throbbing with rich treasures, beautiful souls and interesting people.”
No matter my age, passion is what keeps me feeling engaged and alive, but the flame must be fanned, the fire stoked daily. I must look at my passions for writing, reading, music, art, connecting to family and friends, helping people and animals, traveling, gardening, cooking, winemaking and wine tasting, walking, and breathing as daily offerings, lotus gifts that keep on giving to others and myself.
“The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware,” Henry Miller also wrote.
Passion is at the core, creation until we reach the bittersweet end of life. And even then, we become food for worthy worms.