It’s all a good ol’ time out here in our wild and wonderful western Willamette Valley and this week I am getting my heaping helping of the wild while I ride the wind all over heck and gone chasing the birds away from the grapes in the vineyard.
On the ATV, with the green and purple rows of Pinot Noir beside and unfolding as I race through like a marsh hawk, before me, my eyes may be watering but my soul is soaring.
Waaahoooo! I love bird patrol!
I am aware that this is a great service to the winery and that I am being very helpful, but I’m into it for the fun. Pure, unabashedly wild, carefree fun.
My winemaking husband, Bryan, is spending his pre-harvest days checking on sugar levels of the Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Riesling, and Chardonnay at the winery’s vineyard, around other parts of Willamette and southern Oregon’s Rogue Valley, and up into Walla Walla and Pendelton areas.
Bryan’s evenings, once back here at home, begin with an hour of dinner, which I have ready for our babes and him to munch and crunch while I begin my bird chasing shift.
Hour two, the kiddies are loaded and buckled up, Bryan with refractometer in one hand and shot gun in the other, and together we hit the dusty trails.
Over hill and dale, through rows bordered by Douglas fir trees, dotted with hundred year old oaks, scrub and blackberry thicket gone wild, we are one happy family finding the “element of fun, in every job that must be done”.
Jack London often wrote of the amazing feeling of being on horseback, riding over his ranch near another great wine growing region, Sonoma, California, in the beautiful Valley of the Moon.
The spirit elevating experience of unconfined individualism, exploring all that nature has to so graciously offer up, can only be defined as awesome.
Unlike Jack London, however, I am blessed with a family to nurture and raise up in this spectacular environment where most of the time the sky is our roof, the grass and soil our carpet and the hills are our walls.
Hiking back at twilight, roughly a mile from the barn where we parked the rugged vehicle, our little son skips ahead, my husband holds my hand and tells me how much he loves to do so and our daughter shares her thoughts on some of the constellations that begin to brighten the September sky.
As we round the corner just at the 150’ tall Douglas fir that stands, like a wonderful, welcoming door man guiding us down the path to our home, we take a quick moment to stop in at our tree house tucked in a clearing next to the seasonal creek, lined with wild roses, blackberries, cherry and plum trees.
We marvel at how beautiful it is and how much fun the tree house has been to build together, as a family.
These days and moments spent with my family, in nature and all of her glory are the treasures of my life. I am nature, quite basically. My children reflect the colors of, and keep tempo with, the changing of the seasons, naturally.
Here with the soils and the skies, I go beyond rejuvenation and all the way to rebirth as a definition of what it means to me to live this way.
It is riotous wind on my face while I fly down the rows of vines. It is heart filling to gather up my family and take them along for the ride. It is peaceful, perfect balance to walk in calmness and observation under the starry sky to our home and tuck into a most blissful night’s sleep.
Thank you for coming along with us, too, this week and until next Sunday, as always, I wish you blessed days.
How do you answer your call of the wild?