[I purchased this image. I didn’t take this one.]

Yeah, I know, I’m a month early, but that’s the reality in Sonoma County. And today, regardless of this being a very dry winter, I’m thanking the gods that the next few days won’t have rain. I’m only two days away from putting on an annual wine and food event called Dark & Delicious Petite Sirah®: setting up, hosting, managing, and then tearing it all down. Doing all that in the rain sucks. I’d like to be more polite, but it’s that horrible, given that it all takes place in an old Naval airplane hanger… Cold coupled with wet is not a pretty mix.

Spring in wine country… The sign of spring this morning, while Bessie and I rolled along – a robin. First it reminded me that this is where many robins winter, but only a few are left. Bessie and I went for a ride to get cappuccino, before I hunker down. (Bessie’s my bike.) As I passed the robin, I was reminded how gorgeous the weather is, and if I were still in Maine, this would have been June… not February.

That led to a stream of consciousness, and honestly, if I have to write about wine right now I’ll scream. I began writing about wine in 1993… I need a morning break, considering what the next four days are going to be like – 24 hour wine….

So, here’s my story today…

A Robin’s Winter of Knowing

It was the late 1970s, and I went outside my small apartment to hang a load of freshly washed clothes. As I was hanging everything in bright sunshine, I noticed a robin, standing in the small garden against the foundation of the house. The soil was loose, and I thought it, “It’s looking for worms.” Later in the day, I came back out to see how my laundry was doing. It was still a bit damp, so I was going to leave it a bit longer. When I started to walk away from the clothes line, I noticed that the robin’s head was buried in the dirt, up to its shoulders.

I stared at it in disbelief. Really? I pondered….

Not interrupting nature, I went back into the house and kept quiet about it, so my kids and their friends wouldn’t disturb what I knew I was witnessing.

Later in the day, I went back out to bring in the laundry that I knew would be dry. When I looked for a status report on my little robin, only its tail feathers remained above the ground. Hum…

The next morning, with a new batch of freshly washed clothes, I headed back outside to my clothes line. There was absolutely no sign of the day before… that was for my eyes and spirit only. Together, compadre spirits…

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