Ten.Two Hundred & Forty-Five

1. I wake up early to call the kids in sick to school so that they can have an extra day with their grandparents. 

2. We drive to the flagship location in downtown Saint Helena. The front window is stacked with crusty breads. I get an English muffin—double toasted—with butter and blackberry jam. Also this big slice of lemon pie with a ginger snap crust. The coffee is steamy and burning through the thin paper cup.  

3. The bakery is full of older people with no work to do and then men in rough jeans and work boots and fleece. This is what I love about wine country the most: the work. I don’t love it for the glamour. I love it for the effort that goes into loving the land. The reverence for nature. The passion for the earth and its beauty. It wouldn’t take long for me to become a farmer if I lived here.   

4. I eat the lemon pie as a second breakfast. The gray morning light illuminating my sliver of the bed. 

5. The drive up to Brown Estate is steep and windy but so beautiful. Green as far as the eye can see. Undulating hills and a touch of blue sky.  

6. The garden is unused but it could be a magical place.  

7. Gotts for the first time. Bacon cheeseburger in a lettuce wrap. You can always tell when ketchup is homemade. The color is a little deeper and the sauce retains visible texture.  

8. So wet.  

9. Beaujolais from Regnie. I opt for a light dinner. Salad and tamales at Mustard’s. Platform 8 for dessert: ice cream made using liquid nitrogen. Blackelberry = huckleberry mixed with activated charcoal. Topped with sweet crunch and freeze dried berries. 

10. “I want this to be mine,” is what I said to myself. This admission to self followed by shame: “But that sounds greedy.” And so then the reworking of words begins within my mind. How do I explain it? Ok. So there is this thing. It’s not that you want it because you crave dominion over it but because you crave a consistent and ever deepening communion with it. Because all of it is calling to you. Because you’ve been flitting back and forth, pulling away bits and pieces to construct the nest of your dreams. And so now the longing feels cavernous because the gap is closing but not quickly enough. Maybe this is where you lean more into your faith.