Nooks and Crannies …

It is only when we silent the blaring sounds of our daily existence that we can finally hear the whispers of truth that life reveals to us, as it stands knocking on the doorsteps of our hearts. ~` K.T. Jong

lantern I wrote last month about my love affair with the out-of-the-way back corners of Ray’s Garden.  Well, it seems I am still finding little nooks and crannies – small, quiet places, tucked away — offering just a moment or two of grace in a normally busy phones-ringing, people-talking, radio-playing world. bunny This little guy is one of my favorite garden inhabitants.  He lives under a shrub, as befits a proper, quiet rabbit.  I believe he is meant to be depicted as eating something but, to me, he always looks as if he is holding his paws to his face saying, “Oh, my!”

Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul. ~~John Muir

2 cherubs It appears one of these cherubs has lost a wing – which is certainly sad, but they do seem to be entirely content to be earthbound in their little piece of garden.

It’s tucked away in a quiet corner, shadowed and obscured… It doesn’t advertise and it doesn’t care if you habitually pass by on the other side. It’s just there for when you need it. ~~ Simon R. Green, Agents of Light and Darkness

lantern 2 There are little patches of grace and beauty all around us — just waiting to be noticed.  I guess it is my job to open my eyes and actually see them … instead of simply rushing past with my eyes set on the screen of my cell phone.

Welcome, wild harbinger of spring! To this small nook of earth; Feeling and fancy fondly cling, Round thoughts which owe their birth, To thee, and to the humble spot, Where chance has fixed thy lowly lot. ~~ Bernard Barton

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Home Territory

 “The sun had already set behind the mountains, and the sky had been drained of color. The trellises of sauvignon blanc flowed down the hill in even rows toward the valley floor. Whatever I was looking for, it wasn’t outside. As far as I could tell, the grapes were minding their own business.”  ~~ Frederick WeiselTeller

While running errands this week I was reminded once again that this place we live in is incredibly beautiful.

valley scene

While this is a blog about the happenings in one particular small garden, the temperate climate here virtually guarantees that every otherwise unoccupied inch of earth will have something growing in it — so I decided to broaden the scope of this one post — to some of that beauty outside Ray’s garden.

This is wine country — premium wine country.  Our particular mix of valley heat and coastal fog is, they say, the perfect climate for wine grapes.  Some of the biggest names in wine originate here so we live and work in the midst of mile after mile of vineyard.  Whether we have have any direct connection to the wine industry or not we live in its midst.  It’s the language we all unconsciously speak.  Our year is marked with the rituals of the vineyard – new berries, “will it rain?”, sugar-content and especially The Crush.  Right now we look at  the new grapes and speculate on what kind of year it will be …

The sun, with all those planets revolving around it and dependent on it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as if it had nothing else in the universe to do. ~~ Galileo Galilei

close-up

“What I aim to do is not so much learn the names of the shreds of creation that flourish in this valley, but to keep myself open to their meanings.”  ~~ Annie DillardPilgrim at Tinker Creek

We tend to be a monoculture, but that does mean that we are always green and lush.  The vistas never get boring because all of this happens in small valleys divided up by rolling hills. We lie at the juncture of oak savannah and coastal redwood forest so the hills carry a variety of tree life, as well.  Grapes aren’t all we have here.  There are rolling hills for long walks…

hills

and a river runs through it all …

confluence2

And on top of all that, the ocean is only one short hour drive away…

beach scene2

“It is a pity indeed to travel and not get this essential sense of landscape values. You do not need a sixth sense for it. It is there if you just close your eyes and breathe softly through your nose; you will hear the whispered message, for all landscapes ask the same question in the same whisper. ‘I am watching you — are you watching yourself in me?’ ~~  Lawrence DurrellSpirit Of Place: Letters And Essays On Travel

Given all this, it is a natural thing to want to continue and add to the beauty within one’s own patch of land — gardening becomes inevitable…..

But it is difficult, sometimes, to compete with Nature.

G'ville