Lytton Springs is a beautiful place, full of beautiful people, and surrounded by beautiful vines. There is just no doubt about it.
It’s different from Monte Bello, certainly, but equally magnificent in its own special way. I really love it up there, and wish I could visit more often. But my home is on the mountain.
My Mother The Mountain.
The distance between sometimes means it’s easy to forget, easy to lose sight of the singular magicness of Lytton Springs. I get spoiled here at Monte Bello. Surrounded by all this raw and ravishing nature, one starts to imagine this is all there ever is or will be to the world; just these heights, these valleys, these swales, these slopes.
And then somethings happens; something that turns my head around, and re-reminds me all over again why I am so fond of Lytton Springs.
Sometimes it’s a big thing, like actually getting to pay a visit. When I was up for the Wine Blogger’s Tasting back in September, I was evangelical in my devotions. Getting to join the vineyard teams for harvest made for a memory I’ll forever cherish, and getting to take my daughter, who was not yet 3 at the time, into the winery so she could watch the grapes coming in was just completely magical; a true peak moment, and one that has proven to be even more influential than I might have imagined. Now, every time my daughter (who is now 3 1/4) runs through the list of what jobs she’s going to have when she grows up, she says she’s going to be a firefighter, a ballerina, a vet, and that she’s going to work with me at the winery.
There just aren’t enough happy tears in the world for me to cry …
Parents out there, did this happen to you? I mean, I’ve always been a bit mopey, a bit weepy, a tad emotional, but this is ridiculous! I was listening to an NPR report on the radio the other day, while driving to work; it was about the Girl Scounts, and I had tears just streaming down my face the entire time. Not because the story was sad — it wasn’t — but just because it got me thinking about my baby girl growin’ up … Geez, I’m starting to tear up now, just writing this! This is ridiculous! Parents out there, did this happen to you?
Anyhow, the thing that turned my head around this time was seemingly just a little thing, merely the simple arrival of a single picture in my e-mail inbox. But it was a beautiful, amazing, striking, stunning, emotive picture, and it was dead hip as well; very cool photo aesthetic. It was a shot of vines at Lytton Springs, and one look was all it took; I had visions of Lytton dancing in my head immediately.
But what really did my head in was the fact that the picture was taken by Lauren Garcia, who just happens to be the daughter of Sandy Johnson, who just happens to be my counterpart up at Lytton Springs. For me, not only was the picture amazing to begin with, but somehow, it was also a Parent-Child picture, a Mommy-Daughter picture, and I thought about those vines, and all that history, and the fact that Sandy and her daughter are sharing it together, and it was all so clear all over again; that this is what wine is.
It is not just agriculture, but culture. It is history, it is family, it is tradition. It is spirituality, and faith, and magic, and juju, and hard work, and patience, and vision, and love. And I’ll say it again, it is family.
And it is tears. Happy tears. More happy tears than you think the world could contain. And then it does. And then the world is a vessel within which floats our happiest tears, and in its shimmering surfaces we see our true reflection, ourselves in love with the world, ourselves in love with our children.
What a beautiful place Lytton Springs is.