Bloom Where You’re Planted

I drove up and down Highway 12 yesterday from Sonoma to Santa Rosa in the early morning of the day.  As the hot sun blazed over miles and miles of green lush vineyard, I set my eyes on this exquisite region that is the wine country. 

I traveled by a number of architectural beauties, historic wineries, ones I have visited in the past, yet marveled once more at their stunning settings.  There was the mission styled St. Francis Winery with its majestic mountain backdrop and breathtaking views of vineyards; The windswept Kunde Estate combining a sense of elegance with a real sense of place inside 1850 acres of rich farm land; and Ledson’s must-see French Normandy Castle with its cathedral windows, sweeping staircases, marbled fireplaces, and coffered ceilings.

I thought to myself, I live in the wine country that is visited by millions of people from around the world each year.  Sonoma becomes their premier choice to vacation, to indulge their senses in varietal wine and culinary delights, to feed and restore their souls in nature.  This is my country, but do I really appreciate its rich offerings? 

I came across a relevant quote by French novelist, Marcel Proust, who wrote, “When I went to Venice, I found that my dream had become incredibly, but quite simply — my address.”

I, like Proust could easily call Venice, my home, my address (I love that city!), but I can also, quite simply call Sonoma, my dream, my home, my address. 

It is here, that I walk through the back country roads, cook up homemade Italian– Argentine recipes, garden long amongst the flowers, drink the nectar of the Gods–our own wine, write dutifully onto the page the details of my daily existence, to savor and taste the finer things that this lush life has to offer.


The Sacred Gateway

Yesterday I walked the wild, wild world of Jack London with my two young boys.  We entered the sacred gateway of adventure where nature calls, story speaks and London inspires. 

Warnings of rattlesnakes and mountain lions kept us on wide-eyed alert while the Woodpeckers knocked and the Blue Jays squawked above our heads. 

We hiked the trail to the Wolf House ruins and stood in front of London’s moss-covered grave and paid homage.  Why were we there?  What was I searching for as I traversed London’s path where he lived, worked and wrote over 100 years ago?  In being still, silent, alert, alive, I felt his presence.  I understood deeply his turbulent spirit and real need, with his great physical stamina and intense intellect to create each and every day.

London wasted no time, not a drop of it and accomplished in his short life span more than most men could do in several lifetimes.  He slept no more than 4-5 hours a night and wrote 1000 words a day to become one of the most prolific American writers to this day. 

I sat in the silence amongst the old Oaks and wispy Eucalyptus trees and recalled Jack London’s credo:  “I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. The proper function of man is to live, not exist.  I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them, I shall use my time.”

This is the sacred gateway, where I wake each day and go inward to a sacred place inside myself, where I can create again, and again and again. 

A Day of Rest

My writer’s pilgrimage to Jack London’s home has been postponed due to heavy rains this weekend.  I am confident, however, I will visit his writing sanctuary mid-week, hike the trails, rest at the ruins of Wolf House and write about my personal experiences and insights there. 

I had to let go of my plans today, which made me think of Woody Allen’s quote: “If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.”  How true. 

So, today has turned into a day of needed rest after participating fully in my son’s 8th grade graduation activities and ceremonies.  As Nicolas walked gracefully down the auditorium aisle, to the podium to receive his hard-earned diploma, acute memories flooded my mind of our 14 years together.  Tears fell gingerly, honoring this life.

Then…the realization hit–knowing too well, how fleeting the next and last four years of our lives together will be.  Up surfaces this Buddhist teaching, “Accept what is so.”  And so I do with a happy and heavy heart. 

Feeling reflective, I look to the cloudy, dreary sky, and wonder what to do next.  I think of what Jack London once said about writing, “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” 

I will spend the rest of my afternoon, writing with a mighty club in hand.