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Leap of Faith

August 20, 2006

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Some people talk about a pattern of seven years when they discuss change. I have packed away so many things or given away or sold them that I can not verify it right now and I can not remember exactly how long we lived in our last home, but I think it was about seven years. I think they say its the average time a person owns a home, but we would never have guessed we would be leaving this quickly. They also say that a home is always a work in progress and when you finally finish it, its time to move. I am not sure if we fit into any of these thoughts perfectly tho they have been running in my brain for a while now and do seem to reflect much of our experience. One last old saying goes, “a child changes everything” and indeed it does or certainly has for us. The reality of a child once they are here is much different than the imaginary child that one plans for. Their personalities, strengths and weaknesses impact. Who knew that two introverts who love life in retreat mode would have such an extrovert who needs lots of novel stimulation? Life has interesting twists and turns. Our plan is to take this opportunity now for greater freedom and connection and just precious time together, while we are young enough to enjoy it. Let’s see all those places we want to see or see again before we die! It’s been quite a leap of faith.

We had to “rewire” our whole inner scheme of staying in this house for the long haul and even imagining her wedding on our lawn here that we had before she was even born! We had to look at our attachment
to this house and “stuff” (even tho we lived a simple life in many ways) and weigh that against the new possibilities. We needed to estimate which direction would be the best one for us financially for the long term and weigh the risks. We had to consider our aging parents and family close by and how we would all be impacted by our choice. We had to look at how this upbringing would affect our child, both the negative and the positive ways.

She would not be the same child if she was raised on the roam internationally and multi lingually than
if she stayed in this area her whole life. (But I thought back to what the minister had said at her baby blessing, that “she is related to everyone” and indeed we all are.) We risked never having a physical home again that nourished us as much as this one did and yet we know all physical things are temporary. It was not an easy decision or one that we took lightly. Often we would switch places on our discussion of pros and cons as we processed it over many months. But things kept pointing to this direction and a whispered thought of “carpe diem”, “take the leap”.... again and again. It really did seem like now or never to both of us.

As I have sorted thru things, I came upon Ms. Mozart's birth announcement. That is where the leaping baby photo came from as we put that on the back cover as a kind of whimsy. I thought it made apt cover photo for this entry. I suppose in some ways we are feeling at this moment like that “startle reflex” that newborns have. A friend who just took off on a world tour called the last two weeks before take off “mind blowing” and I know what she meant. I thought I might share a few other pictures from those days as I suppose this is a new birth in its way and I came across this lovely poem from the cover and found it still quite apropos today:

We have all gathered to sing your song
joyfully we have waited,
and you have come.
out of star-filled water,
clothed in stardust, and water lights.
As a segment of the rainbow ,
you are not a stranger.
You have joined us now,
in our dancing place, on this earth.
Welcome, little Traveler.

There is an earthiness, simplicity and ancient feeling  about our home and land that appealed to us and our dream. Living there with its other worldly views and light was a bit like taking a European luxury vacation without leaving home or all the conveniences there. (Of course we were the maid, gardner and nanny as well as the King, Queen and Princess.) We were impacted by our last big trip to Europe where we saw a lot of the Cottswlds and Lake District as we toured Great Britain and Scotland and fell in love with the feel of the ancient homes in the countryside. We spent a lot of time in France on that trip with friends staying in enchanting country chateaus, an abby and a castle, visiting the Loire valley, Giverney and Provence & Eze. We stayed at some really grand places that helped open our vision. Much of what we experienced there went into our home as well as other influences from previous trips or my year of living in Italy.

We knew we needed to start with Europe first on this adventure as we love it .Of course we want to see the cities and the tourist sites some, but its really the rural authentic life that attracts us. We want to know more about that life and experience it for ourselves. When our child studies languages, history, peoples and ancient architecture, we want her to have a real “hands on” experience. It’s really time for her to spend time in a country where her second language is the dominant language and get that experience. Its time to get a real understanding how other people live.

So the blog starts with the house and home story because this is where it all began. A fantasy trip to Europe led to us to finding our home and influenced creating our dream home. Now that the dream house is complete and we have been enriched by that experience and learned so much in the process, it seems Europe (and the world) is calling again. We are looking forward to the adventures this chapter will bring now that we have come full circle.

We will never look at wine or a vineyard in the same way now that we have started a Pinot Noir vineyard from scratch and lived with one outside our windows all year long for years enjoying the seasonal cycles. It started out as “grow some grapes” on DaVinci’s wish list for our new home and little did we know what we were getting into. Soon “some grapes” turned into 400 plants shipped from Oregon and 1/4 of an acre of Pinot (out of our almost 3 acres) and we learned a ton thru the process of growing them and then bottling our own wine. D had grown up  around vineyards and wanted to have some fruit trees and grapes as we could not grow those kinds of things on our first home that was tucked down in the redwoods near a brook. We were ready to do some serious gardening. Later, we were a showcased home on a San Francisco NBC show called “Wine Country Living” that we posted here in parts.  SEE MOVIE>>

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