The Wine Country Online

Midwinter Epiphany

By Jack Burton

Picture the brittle winter sunlight filtering down through a mighty grove of redwoods. The trees are living relics of medieval times. They stand, cathedral-like about the picnic grounds at Armstrong Redwoods State Reserve.

You are cloisterd. Snug in your vestment of a thick wool sweater.

Fife Creek sings a Gregorian burble. Chanting beside an old open stone hearth. It's a primal mantra. The song of water over rock.

The setting begs a cheery fire. With the holy smoke of dry eucalyptus drifting lazily under a vault of boughs. There are pepperwood leaves to toss into the flames. Native offerings. A perfume prayer to the harvest past.

Imagine a basket spilling over with fruit. Dried fruit and fresh. It complements the miracle. The profound mystery of yeast and enzyme contained within sacred vessels of crust and glass and rind.

So gather yea. And rejoice in the trinity of bread and wine and cheese upon the altar of your picnic table.

Armstrong Redwoods State Reserve
Austin Creek State Recreation Area
17000 Armstrong Woods Road
Gurneville, CA 95446

See also this month's Stewardship page featuring the Stewards of Slavianka.