September morning. The grapevines are producing their magical leaves of green and red. They have given up their sweet fruit and now their leaves perform their costume change from the green of summer to the russet of autumn. Mornings are cool, with hot afternoons; it’s back-to-school time and for just a moment, we breathe in memories of summer travels and respites before turning our attention back-to-work, harvesting our year’s lessons and the bounty of our efforts. I turn my focus from long creative days in the studio to the business side of my art, with upcoming shows and sales to prepare for and the prosaic minutiae of life.
Last night our table was laden with food and drink, surrounded with good friends, the room filled with celebration of life passages and progresses. This morning the vine leaves remain on my table, a colorful reminder of summer’s adventures and the storage of gained wisdom for the journey into the darker half of the year drawing near. We have been growing a vineyard in front of our house ever since spending our honeymoon in Napa nearly three decades ago and suddenly finding ourselves in a plant nursery gathering up grapevine starts to bring home and plant in the garden, to become a symbol of our own tenacity all these years, the longevity of our marriage, and the deep deep roots we have put down here in our little corner of California. We made wine for many years; now we have sweet table grapes growing in this vineyard. Some of the vines are old and gnarled, like ourselves, but full of “more sweetness than the sense can bear.”
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