OF SOLITUDE AND SIPPING
Hi. For the last little while, due to our viral situation, I’ve had some time off from writing these columns. But, I’m still here, back now, trying to write some thing more thoughtful. And while drinking and driving is a no go, drinking and thinking…well, they seem to go hand-in-hand. As long as we don’t overdo it, having a glass of something nice, combined with our current solitude, invites reflection. Sip.
I have to confess, I have actually been drinking less during my homestay as opposed to what others are doing. At least according to social media. But I have been drinking the better wine out of my supply so that when I take a sip, and then another, I say ah…that’s what I’m talking about! It’s nice to consider quality while we’re sitting around contemplating life. And, ok, sure, I’ve binged on some fluff on Netflix and Apple TV, but even on those sites, I can find some quality viewing. Something that expands my thoughts, makes me look at others in a more curious way, or just allows some deep feeling to surface that I can gently hold in my hands and thus regard. I won’t interfere. I will, as the Beatles suggested so many years ago, let it be. Sip.
And the insane riotous news goes on. Many sips.
I wonder what my Cellar Rat friends are doing. Bob says many have stepped up and kept the winery afloat. Thank you, thank you! We are all very grateful for this. I surely want a job to come back to when everything seems okay to do so. I miss chatting with all of you. And while I miss dancing, and gathering with friends, having dinner parties, and working at the winery, nice things have happened. My garden looks fantastic this early season. (Finally time enough to work outside.) I’ve become very close to my cats. (A black one and a white one with correspondingly different temperaments which somehow just says it all.) I call friends and family on a regular basis just to make sure we’ve got each other’s backs. I spend more time with my guy and we still like each other! I do not get bored. (I make lists of stuff every day that don’t get completed!) Sip, sip, sip.
But I do get quiet. Little sip.
ALL THE (LONELY) PEOPLE
I think about all the people that have suffered greatly in this situation.
All the lonely people…(Another Beatles tune. I guess you know what generation I come from.) People who live alone, are quarantined, and many of the elderly are living even quieter lives. This is especially difficult because we are a social species. We want to talk to and be around other people. I hadn’t realized how much I would miss having dinner with another couple. Just to hear “other words” as my neighbor Ed said the other day when we chatted, me from my doorway and him by his truck. Other words than the ones on the news or the ones swirling around in our respective noggins. Or the repetitive loop emanating from our devices constantly reinforcing our already determined biases. Wouldn’t it be a good thing to have daily newspapers again? To see, and hopefully, read other viewpoints and articles we wouldn’t automatically search out? Maybe people would look at other points of view. Maybe we would be a little more broad minded, a little more educated. And maybe these times will morph into more social consciousness without all the hype of social media. Let’s drink to that! Big sip.
And think about all the people who have gotten sick. There are mild cases and more severe ones that I hear are no picnic. And the ones on ventilators which might be a lifesaver, but are very far from an easy treatment. Many, of course, sadly, do not survive. So much grief in our nation right now. So, if you have not been touched by the virus and don’t know anyone who has, it can seem like a fiction, but think about those who grieve and count yourself lucky.
Then there’s the financially devastated. Here in the wealthiest nation in the world.
And, as has been so pointedly brought into focus, our essential workers. They are essential because Americans depend upon them for their daily needs and wants. And, yes, as one friend pointed out, they may have chosen those jobs that don’t pay all that well, equal opportunity just doesn’t exist everywhere. Look, we need these people. Maybe now we will realize that they deserve a living wage. Not everyone is meant to be a CEO or to work at a tech company. Far from it. I worked for many years at a little local café. It was a job I loved along with all the quirky people and community surrounding me in those days. Maybe the money wasn’t much, but I was valued and it made me feel like a real human being. It’s why I love my job at the winery and feel fortunate to work there.
CONNECTING THROUGH THANKS, HOPE, AND WINE
And of course there are our essential doctors and nurses who are emotionally and physically exhausted. I have listened to many of them tell their stories either online or on the radio. Some of them are inspirational. And some just make me cry.
Life is about connection. It’s how everything works. Wine connects me to you. A delicious meal (time to make new recipes!), a glass of good wine, a smile and a toast acknowledging each other is a regular ritual in my home. Add a little eye contact and it’s the best kind of connection. Create nice rituals of connection for yourselves. I think it gives you something to cherish and it keeps life meaningful. Joyful sip.
I, for one, feel very blessed, even in these uncertain times. I have everything I need and I am thankful.
Drink well and stay well.