It must have been 20 years ago when the little VW Jetta took us down the road to Hillsboro, Texas, with Bob Marley wailing “I don’t want to wait in vain,” on the radio. It wasn’t that long ago, but it all belongs to history now. She has joined the Ancients.
It has been seven years, a short time compared to eternity, but a sea full of tears and loss. A half-full glass moment, raised to remember her on this day when she passed away from us.
Last night I opened up a bottle of a 2001 Italian red, grown not too far from where she now rests. It was bright and clear and sweet and too young. As I drank it with friends and family, I thought of all the people who made wine that have passed away as well. All around us there are the signs of those who love us and want us to be happy. Some of these signs have been put there by those who are now part of history. And yes, they are no longer pumping blood and cuddling their warm bodies next to us anymore, but there are ways they still connect to those of us still here.
Wine, love, art, music, all around us we are influenced and nurtured by those who have gone before. I think of my wife, she will always be young, as I age and get ready to shake this body off, some day. But not yet, “non voglio morire”, as Puccini’s Manon cries.
Floating all around us in the eternal ocean of peace and tranquility, there is the spirit of love, and we get all shook up about silly things like micro-oxygenation or large champagne houses. “I’m a mystic man, don't drink no champagne”, Peter Tosh sings, “'cause I'm a man of the past, and I'm living in the present, and I'm walking in the future, stepping in the future.”
With a little help, as I step forward, on or off the wine trail, may our loved ones be there, to give us a hand, to let the sunshine in.