Sunday, July 23, 2017

Insights into Life and Wine ~ While Hiking Among the Old Growths

There’s a bit of the old Zen when walking among the ancient living ones on our continent in the Pacific Northwest. One is that we humans, as old as we can get, aren’t always the oldest ones in the room. Something has lived longer, experienced more of life, and even though they might not be able to out-and-out talk to us, they speak. Oh, do they speak.

I don’t know where my reverence for elders stems from. Like most of us in my generation, I was taught to respect my seniors. But I don’t remember being told to listen to them. In fact, there was that period in the 60’s (and 70’s) when we didn’t. And we changed the world. And that world will never be the same.

Now, anyone who is 60, is undetected by the fidgeting masses of millennials, aching to post every victory, every heartache, hell, every fart, which comes out of their wriggling frames. It’s like so many millions of Truman Shows we are being exposed to; every new drink, every flirtation, every grain of sand on that oh, so perfect beach. Every inch of Big Sur. Every painful inch. As if we had never seen it in our 60+ years on this goofy little orb. But how would they know? We are invisible. And they are new! new!! new!!!

Plodding along like a Nepalese Sherpa, up and down a pine needle path, among those older, taller, and quieter, than what we usually are around, provides a stark contrast to the typical urban dwellers day. And a continuing education. To gather in the silent steps, in this environment. Something to take back in one’s heart, home.

Or so that has been my path this past week. It’s a renewal of sorts, but also a reaffirmation, that the path one set upon so many years ago is still there. It hasn’t eroded on a hillside, fallen down a crevice, disappeared into the past. It’s right there, right in front of me. If you just keep plodding along. One small step in front of the next – avanti.

And that’s the secret of learning about Italian wine too. You’re not going to conquer Everest in one fell swoop. Oh, you can try – and die. But fortunately with regards to Italian wine, you won’t die – but you could burn out.

Or anything wine for that matter. Wine is a small part of life. Yes, to some of us, it might be the whole thing. But really? Look around you. Gaze upwards . See those tree limbs swinging up there at 200-300 feet? Or beyond the trees, see those lights in the sky? Those stars, galaxies, and universes upon universes? There’s more than wine. And there is a good experience in all of this to apply to the wine world, Italian or otherwise.

And it isn’t the newest found star, or the brightest little comet that’s streaming, out of range, and causing so much stir down below. It’s the everyday stars, the ones that shine even in the midday sun. The good, wholesome, honest, dependable accompaniments to the meal – the cheese, the salumi, the roasted eggplant, the poached fish, the grilled steak. Part of life – not the whole of life – a slice . But to some of us, an important part.

Yes, the old trees told me this. Yes, it’s mighty to think all of this parading in front of us is important. But somewhere in the forest, anther parade is taking place – millions, billions of them. They’re the little dramas within every tide pool – those hermit crabs wrestling for their spot under the sun (and sea), the mollusks and creatures so small they can hardly be seen by the naked eye. The confrontations between the bald eagle and the ravens, played out daily as tragedy or comedy in the Grand Theatre of Life.

Experiences – that’s what we are being given, from the moment the cord is cut to the moment the lights are turned out, and who knows, beyond perhaps?

So the next time someone puts a bottle of Gattinara in front of you, the next time a bottle of Soave appears before your eyes, swooping down on the table like an eagle, be still. Be calm. Put your phone away. And just enjoy the experience.

wine blog +  Italian wine blog + Italy W
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