The Beauty of this Life

On this wintry day, from my kitchen island, I stir my mother’s homemade lentil soup and look out at the Redwood trees, dripping wet with rain.  The time to go inward is here, a simple but sure season of good things yet to come.  I think of all that is taking place outside and all that is going on inwardly.

Edna O’Brien, the Irish novelist said, “In a way, winter is the real spring–the time when the inner things happen, the resurgence of nature.” 

This is the case in the Sonoma wine country where the naked, golden brown branches after months of dormancy, resurge into pink buds and lush green vines, but not yet, not yet.

This is nature’s low-key time, perfect in every way with not much to do.  Winter makes me want less, need less, feeding myself and my family with only the basics: food, shelter, love, connection, and energy to create a new.  To be reborn like every living thing in the garden.

I am reminded of nature’s patience and the need to cultivate more of my own.  My German Shepherd Jeb waits for our daily walk near the veggie garden, still needing clearing for seeds this spring.  In good time, we will plant basil, cilantro, chili peppers, lettuce, tomatoes, parsley, cucumbers, and artichokes. 

But for now, my desire to go inward, observe and write is heightened.  The quiet allows for new songs of Sonoma to surface and make their way onto the page–of the orange breasted Robin hunting for seed on the grassy knoll of our vineyard, of the Camellias waiting to burst into red color from my kitchen window, of the night sky diamonds shining their brilliance under the valley of the moon.

I watch life with all its intensity, active stirrings and true offerings.  I accept the cycles of nature–of death and rebirth.  I see reality clearly and understand intuitively, the beauty of this life found in the silence, creativity, and simplicity of nature’s surroundings.  I think of Aristotle’s words…

“In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.”


5 thoughts on “The Beauty of this Life”

  1. Monica, what a beautiful blog you have, and your writing is very rich! Thank you for getting in touch on my blog. Yes, we do share a lot commonalities in what we are doing. So happy to find you in cyberspace!

    1. Hi Leslie

      I heard you and your co-authors speak at Collected Works this fall when you launched: By the Way . . ., a great resource that I will definitely use not only for myself but for friends who visit. I took your bookmark and gave it to Monica as I sensed that you both shared interests. I am pleased that you have connected. Hopefully, Monica will visit me in Santa Fe this fall when I am there so you can meet/get together. Although I live in Sonoma, I go to my “spiritual home” in Santa Fe three times a year for at least a month each journey. I find New Mexico very inspirational and rejuvinating.

      Wishing you a wonderful 2012.

      Marilyn Kelly

      1. Hi Marilyn, Thank you for getting in touch here. I was happy that one of my fliers landed in Monica’s hands and I got to meet her, and now you too! Love the way those connections work. Santa Fe is definitely a great place to have your spiritual home. When you’re here, if you and/or Monica would like to have tea, please let me know. You can contact me through my website or on Facebook. Blessings to you both!

  2. Hi Monica
    I agree that a new year provides an opportunity for internal reflection: going inside as one experiences the changes outside. I have always found January the time to reflect on what’s ahead, hopefully, making decisions that help me grow and develop during the new year.

    I applaud your descriptions of how the winter looks from your kitchen window, your vineyard, and the garden you love. It places the reader right there with you, sharing in your meaningful experiences.

    Great quotes, too, from Edna O’Brien and Aristotle!

    I wish you much success with your “heightened focus on writing.”


    P.S. I love the picture of your bottle of wine! Must be a talented photographer (ha! ha!).

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