Thursday, September 22, 2011

About the change of season

Today I just finished pressing the grapes from this year's harvest.  I got a total of 240 lbs of cabernet sauvignon and syrah grapes from Rominger Brothers Vineyard in Winters, CA on Holy Cross Day, September 14.  After the destemming and crushing, and then pressing I am left with about 15 gallons of raw wine.  Later the wine will get racked a few times into different containers and it will clarify and be ready for bottling.  But right now I'm happy for this new season and this new beginning of the 2011 vintage wines.

Back in my hunting days as September would draw near I would begin to feel what one spiritual companion of mine used to call "the quickening."  It was a call to the forest and the dance with wild game.  Since I made the move to California three cycles of this season ago I haven't taken up hunting (at least not yet).  However, in a region where I can make grape wine from picking off the vine to bottling I've noticed that the old "quickening" still happens. 

Now that I think of it, for years as winter would be drawing to a close I would start dreaming of fishing.  Another quickening of sorts, an anticipation of a major seasonal change.  I appreciate these ways that the seasons and the changes and gifts of our earth call to me.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Lenten Journey

Welcome to the season of Lent!  The church season of Lent begins with Ash Wednesday on March 9 and ends with the Great Vigil of Easter. It covers forty days (forty-six if we include Sundays) as preparation for the greater fifty-day season of Easter.  To see my Ash Wednesday sermon preached at All Souls' Parish, Berkeley follow the link  "Memento mori" (remember that you are going to die) is the meditation theme of this sermon.  Sounds morbid?  Maybe it really is life-giving!