People often tell me my job is glamorous, but the wine business is much like any other; behind tastings and galas you see on social media there is a life more fully lived.
The past two months have been difficult ones. I sustained a severe concussion that has made writing difficult, memory fleeting, sleep impossible, words lost to thin air.
Shortly thereafter my mother, for whom we threw the Pink Party last June, succumbed to cancer.
In “Pink Party” I wrote that “one must celebrate even in the midst of dark and scary times.”
In the weeks following her death I have found nothing to be more necessary.
While communion denotes a religious sacrament to many, it actually has other definitions that I’ve found integral to life’s slow return to the new normal.
From the Oxford English dictionary: “The sharing or exchanging of intimate thoughts and feelings, especially when the exchange is on a mental or spiritual level” and “Common participation in a mental or emotional experience.”
The very root of the words “communion” and “community” are derived from the latin word “communis”, meaning things held in common and fellowship.
Regardless of your religious tradition, there is indeed something integral- even sacred- to the breaking of bread, the sharing of food and wine with loved ones.
It was only recently that our dining table- normally oft used- was cleared of a month’s worth of mail and household detritus. I helped prepare a meal more complicated than a sandwich for the first time in many weeks. Music played and I set the table with the gold and white china I inherited from my mother. The bottle of wine I had been saving from my last trip to California was opened, decanted, savored. Candles flanked a small potted olive tree.
To me communion has come to mean far more than just a religious ritual- it is what saves us in our darkest moments. It is over wine and food that many of my favorite memories are created, lingering with friends new and old. In the clearing of bills and the lighting of candles I made more than just physical space.
Amidst tears, there can be laughter.
Amidst grief, moments of happiness are possible.
Amidst loss, a community of loved ones draws near, reminding us of our better selves and better times.
And so for others that have faced tribulations or loss this season, consider clearing a space at the table and pouring something you’ve been saving. Share food and wine with someone you love. ‘Tis the season and life is short.
This post is dedicated to everyone who’s been there to share a glass of wine or conversation, to everyone currently experiencing the dark and scary parts of life, and to my mother.