In my 20s, I remember telling a counselor I really didn’t have any friends or any time to work friends in. I had been in an abusive marriage with a spouse that bullied me–what I did, who I did it with, and where I did it were all his business and none of mine. I had a child very young, and as a young professional and single mom, I was just trying to get through each day without the whole tower crashing down. Friends were a perk that I couldn’t afford.
As I moved out of that dark time, I thought about that counselor’s comment: “Why don’t you have friends? You seem like you would be a great friend.”
I never forgot that. I knew I could be a great friend. As I looked closer inside, I realized it was about accepting that part of myself that is deserving of whole, renewing, balanced relationships.
Now, one of my core values is connection. We are all connected whether we choose to acknowledge that or not, but friends add a balanced connection that makes my life brilliant with color. I love my friends. The ones I keep love me back. It’s a beautiful dance through life and one that makes me smile.
This weekend was one of those times. A group of us returned for a second annual wine tasting trip to Amador County. We took over a Bed & Breakfast called The Foxes Inn in Sutter Creek, California. After wandering into the tasting room next door to the Inn last year, we joined the wine club. A perk was a free wine tasting/food pairing in the caves of Bella Grace’s winery for us and friends. Obviously, we had to return. (I mean, it would be wasteful not to.)
The weekend was full of many things. The colors of Fall adorning a small little mining town called Sutter Creek.
Unseasonably warm autumn sun.
A herd of deer running through the wheat fields. Wild turkeys braver than you’d expect with Thanksgiving right around the bend. The best food and wine you can dream up. Brisk morning walks. Lovely people who have built their lives around celebrating wine from grape to table. Gourmet shops with local products that can only be called food art. (I mean, potato chips with truffle oil? Pita chips based out of tomato pita, toasted and paired with homemade hummus?)
Learning a town by the way it feels early in the morning before it wakes up.
These are the moments I treasure. These are the times that keep me healthy. These are the moments that take my breath away.