Tag Archives: Literature

Finding Joy

I think of the many things that bring me joy, (and there are many) such as the raising of my two boys, spending time with family and friends, working in the vineyards, planting vegetables in the garden, biking the back country roads, writing my blog, seeing the first rose, and making our Nicolas Alexander Meritage wine.  This helps me through the harder times in life.

I also love, equally as much, fine literature–a poignant poem or an excellent story to help me live a more grounded, purposeful and meaningful life.

Righlty used, words become a lyrical language, like a hummingbird resting on a branch, a cat napping on the porch, a soft rain falling on the grass, the moon rising over the evening.  Words are music to my ears, salve to my wounds, comfort to my soul, joy to my heart.  There is nothing like an excellent story to make me think, make me feel and fall hard.  Hemingway‘s shortest story, comes to mind. 

“For sale: Baby’s shoes.  Never worn.” 

Here, he communicates so much pain in very few words. 

As for poetry, I love the poems that make me want to dance, laugh, and tread lightly upon this earth.  As we approach the summer months, The Summer of Love, by Antonio Machado comes to mind.

The Summer of Love

I declare this the Summer of Love,                                                                                                        I declare this the Summer of Dreams,                                                                                                 I declare this the Summer when no one                                                                                            will stop laughing, except to smile.                                                                                                 When no one will stop dreaming, except to sleep.                                                                            The Summer of no watches because there is nothing but now.                                  The Summer of no wallets because everything of value is free.                                                  The summer when men become women and women become men.                                        The Summer during which no one wears underwear.                                                                 The Summer of pure feeling.                                                                                                           And the Summer in which everything…                                                                                          Everything has meaning.                                                                                                                        I declare this the Summer of Love.  The Summer of Now.                                                         The eternal Summer.   The mythical Summer.  The Summer we will always              remember on behalf of us all.  I declare this the Summer of Love.                                          The Summer that starts now and lasts forever.  

Dicentra spectabilis
 

Now, that’s a poem that makes me feel like these dangling hearts, where their very essence is joy.                                                            

A Second Chance

christmas 2007

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas.  I really, really am.  I wish, just once that it would snow in Sonoma on Christmas day, but alas, it would take a miracle for white blankets of snow to cover our homestead and nestle us in for the long winter’s night.  

But no matter–the cool crisp night air, delicious kitchen smells and white lights shining off our 6 foot wreath outside our home, puts me in a glowing, festive mood. 

I adore the warm colors of gold, red and green seen sparkling from our tree; I cherish the heartfelt moments by the fire, shared with family and friends; I immerse myself in the deep feelings of gratitude and joy, similar to Ebenezer Scrooge born with a second chance to live with heaven in his heart and ecstasy in his acts of kindness. 

I know the holidays can be a blue time, a sad and true time for those we love and for those we have lost, but we still have each other.  And for those we have lost, we carry them in our hearts.  They are with us still. 

As I approach 2012, I want to look at this year as a ‘second chance’ to really make the most of this life, this simple life I have created in the heart of the wine country. 

As Confucious once said, “Wherever you go, go with all your heart.”

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.