One of my favorite Ohio vineyards is for sale.
I’ve been trying to dismiss the dream as unreasonable since I heard about it this weekend. Rationalization about the loan, my ability to garden, my love of the city, work, kids, dogs, anything to talk myself out of it. Tonight, I find myself alone with the vineyard listing with a full hour of quiet stretching in front of me.
Normally, that’s heaven. Except, that vineyard is calling me…”Oh, Monica’s gut…come, let’s rule the vineyard together…” like a siren beckoning.
No, I should be productive and DO something. I tune into my overdue History lesson. I’m a few weeks behind, but intuition, sick children and work responsibilities have kept me from catching up. Until tonight. I need a distraction from all this thinking about owning a vineyard on the Ohio River.
It’s the 1900s and my History teacher is comparing modernity with the Enlightenment…or should I say he’s contrasting them. There’s not much in common. Where Enlightenment taught that men could think and create and be independent, modernity of the 1900s—especially the growing trend towards materialism—showed that men were irrational, slaves to societal thinking and dependent.
Men, that is, except for Gandhi. Gandhi believed in self sufficiency. “He believed in learning to do as much for yourself as possible,” my teacher says leading me right back to a vineyard and winery…
I could certainly suffice for myself on 128 acres of fertile field. In addition to growing and making wine to share, I would have fruit trees, a vegetable garden, wild turkeys, deer, space for my dogs to run free, fresh clean air, a house with a kitchen in which to bake bread and cook meals, a sunroom in which to write, a yard to stretch out all my laundry on the line.
And a barn in which to sing and dance and host song and dance.
Would I need anything? Well, for certain I’d need loved ones and friends to celebrate with me, to sing with me, to dance with me. I’d need neighbors with whom to chat over a fence and remark upon the weather. There is the matter of a million dollar loan. But also I’d need a fire in my fireplace. And a bottle of wine at the ready.
Perhaps I’d also need to learn to sew a bit better than just a rudimentary skirt. And maybe some handyman skills…or a handyman. My accountant would have to stay with me too, because she is as much a trusted advisor on living well as an outstanding and wise mathematician and friend.
Yes, that’s right about when I began questioning my reason again and demand from myself a focus on history.
We can learn so much from history. I already have! Especially with this course.
Max Weber, the age of psychology, Sigmund Freud. What’s with all this concern about sexuality, I wonder as my teacher again begins to contrast Enlightenment with this. We went from beauty in human art and a focus on nature to base desires, animalistic drives and urges, women as moralistically vulnerable…
I must be hallucinating as I listen.
“So the rise of civilization was not the triumph of reason,” he states matter of factly, almost sadly, “but the ability to contain ourselves, to repress ourselves.”
I should definitely buy that vineyard.