My husband I recently traveled to Northern Sonoma County, to celebrate our 5 year anniversary. The first day of our trip, there was a massive power outage in the area due to the high fire risk. We were concerned at first, thinking we traveled all this way and wineries may be closed, but fortunately everything turned out ok and most importantly, there were no fires!
We spent our days visiting winery and after winery, they were everywhere! I knew there would be many, but wasn’t expecting them to be so close to one another. It was easy to get to everyone on the map that we wanted to visit, without feeling rushed. Despite the power outage, many wineries opened their doors. Most running on generators or lit by the flicker of faux candles, which made it even more romantic. We found ourselves the sole occupants in some places. There were very few cars on the road, and few people at each stop (which we think was also due to the outages, as we heard at the hotel that many were canceling their trip). For the first couple days, it felt like we were the only ones in town!
We sat on terraces, sampling a variety of wines, overlooking scenes just like this painting. The hills of vines rolled for miles around us, and the skies were calm and clear. Very few buildings obstructed the view, and there were practically no cars along the winding roads below us. It was peaceful. I sat there absorbing the breadth of it all, feeling the grace of the endless earth.
Although we were surrounded by the breathtaking beauty of the vineyards, what struck me the most was the silence. I wanted to bottle it up, along with the wine, to take home with me. Every vineyard we visited was the same in that sense. As good as the wines were, this is the part that stayed with me the most. No movement. Just silence. I felt grateful. It was the reminder I needed to slow down and be present.
I kept a sketchbook with me on our travels, trying to capture all my favorite moments. Not just what we saw, but how I saw it. When we came home, I jumped right into painting, anxious to revisit it all. I have a head full of new ideas and inspiration that I can’t wait to share!