Rewards of the Harvest

We are what we create and I have proof of this on my 2011 desk calendar–an oil painting called Rewards of the Harvest, symbolizing gratitude, abundance and Thanksgiving. 

Rewards of the Harvest was originally mouthpainted by Mark Sotak, an artist, who paints only with his mouth.  It is clear to me, that Sotak is not his disability, he is, however the beauty he created on the white canvas and the perseverance, hope, productivity and love he manifested in his work. 

Mark Sotak painting in his studio below.

The painting (which I wish I could show you) is of a table centerpiece with bright orange pumpkins and persimmons, deep green gourds and clusters of purple grapes, a candle lit lamp glowing over the fruit, a brown basket with red apples in it and lavender flowers placed in a painted sunflower pot.  It represents the abundance of a good harvest. 

We are not painters, but we are small time wine makers of Nicolas Alexander wine and we had our own harvest yesterday.  We not only gathered over a ton of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc grapes which will produce over 46 cases of Nicolas Alexander 2011 Meritage wine, but we did so with the help of close family and good friends gathering together to celebrate in the organic ritual of grape turning to wine, under the warm Sonoma sun

The day was made up of four hours of hard labor (picking grapes), two hours of separating the stems from the grapes, and just minutes to pour the pulp, juice and peel into big white sanitized bins for a few weeks of fermentation.  By midday, we indulged in delicious homemade delicacies ala Dano (my husband) and tasty varietal wines from the Sonoma wine country region.  

In Italy, the Italians describe a day such as yesterday, with one word, Abbondanza!  It was a full, beautiful, and fruitful day made up of long talks with friends I hadn’t seen in years, with family I hadn’t seen in months but always with abundant laughter and kindness pouring from their hearts. 

Robert Louis Stevenson said, Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds that you plant.” 

This weekend, we celebrated not only an abundant harvest, but reaped from the seeds we planted over the many years of our lives. 

We are what we create and I have to remind myself of this truth each and every day.

 

One thought on “Rewards of the Harvest”

  1. Dear Monica

    As I was in Santa Fe when you had your harvest, your descriptions of this special event made me feel “right there.” Given all that was picked and the expected number of cases of wine, it looks like you will be “well stocked” for at least a couple of years, generously sharing with your friends and family as you and Dan do.

    I loved the family pictures that accompanied this blog which makes your writing take on a reality aspect – especially those who do not live in the area. Each picture I am sure has a story to tell.

    I marvel at the creativity and determination of Mark Sotak who doesn’t let personal challenges get in the way of being creative. Your vivid description of the calendar painting inspires me to seek such a setting with my camera. In fact, following this posting to your blog, I am going out to take some images of the fall leaves in Sonoma which are quite exquisite in our afternoon sun. As you said, we are what we create! And, I hope to create some beauty today.

    Marilyn

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